Big Data Meetup, University of Westminster, London

On the 15th of February, Unicom went to the Big Data Meet up. This is what happened:

Presenter 1 -Bernard De Bono, ‘Apinatomy Big Data in Bio Medi-science’ 

• Focus on dealing with data in biomedical field (medical / healthcare / pharma / bioengineering etc…)

• There is as a problem with these organisations sharing data in case it can be traced back to the patient – hospitals cannot share data but can share metadata

• Open reference ontologies are available that contain shared metadata • Applications of big data are for example: using data to predict probability of medical problem arising (e.g. in neurosurgery the likely hood a brain aneurism bursting; in bio-engineering using data to develop better joints).

• Apinatomy provide a GUIO to present the information collected from many sources in a format clinicians can understand

Presenter 2 – Mike Ferguson ‘Big Data in Enterprise’

  • “Big Data” is really just a marketing term


  • Gartner identified “The three Vs” which big data can help organisations cope with – Velocity; Variety; Volume Companies need to analyse data to compete


  • Analytical DBMS vs. Hadoop (NoSQL) environment


  • Hadoop is an open source software framework to support data intensive architecture
  • Lucene Apache open source information retrieval software library
  • Cassandra Apache Open Source distributed database management system
  • Microsoft Windows Data Azure Store (is like an App store)

Issues and trends

• Where to invest (e.g. with NoSQL there are around 120 databases available not all will succeed; companies don’t know which ones to invest in)

• If payback is bigger than the investment in technology companies will pay up every time!

• Finding skill sets / people with the right skills

• How soon can you turn data into knowledge you can use

• Venture Capitalists are throwing money at start-ups that provide technology to make sense of data from social networks – eg. Facebook and Twitter • Emergence of Information Stores

• Capital markets is a major area for Big Data .


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