SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

Related Topics: Big Data Journal, Java, Linux, Virtualization, Cloud Expo, SDN Journal

Big Data Journal: Article

Big Data Needs a Thought Collective

Big Data should follow the lead of the scientific method to put greater emphasis on sharing and reusing data

Sharing data is a cornerstone of the scientific method because it makes it possible to replicate work. That foundation is mostly absent from data science, which makes obtaining and reusing knowledge more difficult than it should be.

Job postings for data scientists increased 15,000 percent between 2011 and 2012, and Gartner predicted that 63% of organizations would invest in Big Data this year. The communications, consumer, education, financial, healthcare, government, manufacturing, and retail sectors are all adopting business practices that are using data science to inform their activities and improve operations.

There are a number of companies creating solutions to visualize and uncover insights from large volumes of data with robust platforms in operation worldwide. Vast volumes of data from applications logs to the network and business activities are well served by today's analytics technologies - computation isn't the issue. The ability to model data into experiments that act on data with data sources and conclusions is what's missing, and it's an emerging problem for businesses.

Gartner has observed that those same organizations are now "struggling" with deriving value from and managing Big Data (depending on organizational maturity). That could be due to what famed microbiologist Ludwik Fleck deemed an "empty mind" as he explored the sociology of science during the 1930s. What is that exactly? Fleck postulated that a mind must be filled with initial knowledge before it can perceive or think. This logic applies to organizations too.

Fleck's theory was that participating in a "thought collective" of institutional knowledge would fill minds. His works concluded that cognition is a collaborative activity because a body of knowledge is acquired from a group. It could be argued that making it possible to reuse data experiments would have the same effect. Organizations that can't find value in data have an empty mind.

Big Data should follow the lead of the scientific method (which was influenced by Fleck's ideas) to put greater emphasis on sharing and reusing data. Why is that important for businesses? Scientific data is easy to share among different organizations. Having the ability to do the same with data science could solve what's emerging as a major pain point. Employees change roles and organizations, but what happens to the knowledge, experiments, and patterns?

Whether the academic model would also function in the enterprise is a fascinating question for data scientists, operations professionals and industries. The next great "open source" horizon could be the exchange of knowledge.

It would be interesting to see companies take on the challenge of building systems that organize and share experiments more liberally to put an end to the empty brain problem. After all, data science is still science. Why should it be treated differently?

More Stories By Haim Koshchitzky

Haim Koshchitzky is the Founder and CEO of XpoLog and has over 20 years of experience in complex technology development and software architecture. Prior to XpoLog, he spent several years as the tech lead for Mercury Interactive (acquired by HP) and other startups. He has a passion for data analytics and technology, and is also an avid marathon runner and Judo black belt.

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally. DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
ScriptRock makes GuardRail, a DevOps-ready platform for configuration monitoring. Realizing we were spending way too much time digging up, cataloguing, and tracking machine configurations, we began writing our own scripts and tools to handle what is normally an enormous chore. Then we took the concept a step further, giving it a beautiful interface and making it simple enough for our bosses to understand. We named it GuardRail after its function - to allow businesses to move fast and stay sa...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced today that Sematext launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal with over 6,000 story reads over the weekend. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting an...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's