Big Data A New World of Opportunities

Big Data A New World of Opportunities
NESSI White Paper, December 2012

Executive Summary
The amount of available data has exploded in the past years because of new social behaviors, societal transformations as well as the vast spread of software systems. Big Data has become a very important driver for innovation and growth that relies on disruptive technologies such as Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Analytics. Big Data is thus very important to foster productivity growth in Europe since it is affecting not only software-intensive industries but also public services, for example the health, administration and education sectors.
A challenge for Europe is to ensure that software and services providers are able to deliver high quality services along the lines of the fast growing number of services and users. Providers of Software and Services must be able to ensure the protection of their users’ data (in terms of availability and use) while at the same time allowing the use of the information to improve the quality of the services they deliver.

Users also want more personalised and more responsive applications without unsatisfied requests. The goal is to implement the vision of full-time availability of services and resources based on data everywhere for anyone, at all time. In this perspective, the flow of Big Data is a key enabler for the provision of resources anytime, anywhere, and the adaptation to demand.
Big Data software and services generate value by supporting an innovative eco-system and by enabling completely new solutions that have not been possible before. The value lies in the applications based on advanced data-analysis on top of more general Big Data layers, semantic abstractions or network and physical objects virtualization.
In this white paper, the European Technology Platform NESSI (Networked European Software and Services Initiative) seeks to contribute to the current European Big Data discourse, based on the expertise of its member community. NESSI offers a comprehensive view on technical, legal, social and market-related aspects of Big Data that have a direct impact on applications, services and software technologies practices. This paper addresses the challenges rising from the use of Big Data and how to overcome those in order to enable new technical and business opportunities for Europe’s software industry and economic sectors. The key points stressed in this paper seek to ensure that the necessary technical conditions and expertise of a skilled work force are available, together with the right business and policy environment in order for Europe to take advantage of these opportunities and regain its competitive position with respect to the rest of the world.

As a result, NESSI brings forward the following recommendations, divided into four different, but highly interlinked sections:
Technical: NESSI supports the need to direct research efforts towards developing highly scalable and autonomic data management systems associated with programming models for processing Big Data. Aspects of such systems should address challenges related to data analysis algorithms, real-time processing and visualisation, context awareness, data management and performance and scalability, correlation and causality and to some extent, distributed storage.
Business: On the EU-level we need a mechanism to foster and structure information between key actors in the European “Big Data Ecosystem” which should be considered from a data process-centric perspective. A Big Data business ecosystem can only be built with a clear understanding of policies addressing legal and regulatory issues between countries, cross-enterprise collaboration issues and the nature of data sources. EU should establish European Big Data Centres of excellence (like Hack/Reduce in Boston) and fostering Open Source Big Data Analytics to make sure the benefits stay in the EU, with European developers, users and entrepreneurs. This should include the awareness of integrating existing private data with external data to enhance existing products and services.

Legal: Within the context of the revised Data protection legal framework, NESSI suggests an in-depth privacy by design scheme, which is not imposing a ‘one size fits all’ rule but leaves flexibility to business in order to ensure that the economic potential of Big Data is cared for in a way that allows for evaluating and analysing data and use such data predicatively for legitimate business purposes, including identity verification and fraud detection and prevention.
Skills: NESSI encourages the creation of new education programs in data science and supports the idea of creating a European Big Data Analytics Service Network to foster exchanges between data scientists and businesses and as a way up to building advanced data-analysis products within the software industry. NESSI stresses the importance of creating resources for using commoditized and privacy preserving Big Data analytical services within SME’s.


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