Mankind is searching for energy since we have been crawl out o the sea. Naturally consuming various forms of energy to grow, to work to heat and other necessary items for life improvements. Over the time, we as a life form have achieved to collect more energy than we need for our basal metabolism.
So we started to invest into culture and leisure as well as technology. Understandable that this was not for all, but some. We started to trade and exchange this profit.
Nowadays-new forms of energy transports appeared like money or knowledge. Also in the last century we found enormous pools of energy, called oil and gas, nuclear as well as regenerative forms. This led to an incredible push in technology, trading and prosperity in parts of the world. While this happened the knowledge was one of the energy forms which was kept close and most nations and companies developed their own harvest of intellectual property (IP).
But than the Internet was born around 20 years ago. Knowledge was spread over the planet and an incredible innovation boost started. With now 7B people on this planet, knowledge is turned in to IP and the dimensions of this planet get captured in various methods. Mathematics cracks the complexity of our environment into formulas and we can understand the world we live in much better. Also more people have access to information, which centuries before was kept in libraries. So ideas can be born for demands never thought previously everywhere in the world.
With the social revolution of the Internet and the appearance of new devices, which make it easy for generations to feed the WWW with more data, pure knowledge got less important since all basic and complex questions seem to be answered with a tip of the fingers, or since recently, with a question to the iPhone. The requested data can now be seen in the best form mankind need to digest, reading, listening, watching; different form culture to culture. There are pictures, text, spoken, videos etc. However, the data is turned into information often in the brain of the user. Specialists have to explain the information and draw conclusions. Also all data or information is a snapshot in time. It has to be recreated often and frequently. This was not big issues years ago, but with the speed of chance happened in our business and life, more agile information was needs.
This is not the end. The Internet of things is approaching very fast and we see combing data from various sources produces new data. So where does this lead to: Big Data.
Another aspect becomes quite clear. Data has a value of energy, which depreciated over a while This energy is called Information. It depends on the data itself and may regain the energy level on alternative point in time. Like in auctions many data has a short, but powerful energy level, when the auction is running, before and after its value is much lower.
This is the power of BigData; it can leverage the combination of a huge amount of data and convert it in information, in real-time, structured and unstructured. The data itself is often not owned by an organization or individual, it is the combination of various sources. The value becomes thru the combination, realignment of new sources and optimization.
Imagine a prediction of a tsunami catastrophic earthquake, which has a huge value if the prediction is extreme high and the time before this happen is long. People recognizing strange behavior of animals, ground, etc is the collecting of data. As described before the energy level of this information is often only relevant if you have it in real-time and adjusted to new information on the fly.
This is where the thought of Big Data can help tremendous. It will let new information generation happen in an actual fusion, various asp
ects in parallel and also generate new data, which can be leveraged by another big data engine. Overtime the interpretation is key; facts will be done in instantaneous. Believe it or not with all the twitter messages, may most of them are useless for you, can be done a newspaper which is more accurate and neutral than ev
ery editor will ever be able to.
BigData will change the world; it is already staring. If it is done right the energy will be enormous and everywhere, not dependent on the culture, more on the people itself providing the fundamental data.
Great post Markus. I recently visited your neck of the woods (or would that be Black Forrest?). While driving ~190 kph on the Autobahn throughout Germany I observed many two or three hundred year old farm house and barns with solar panels on their roofs. I also noticed a bunch of windmills in the farm fields too. I couldn’t help ponder the various use cases of all these power generating devices can be used for from a big data perspective. I’m sure that aggregating their supply and demand (energy consumption) characteristics has the potential of yielding lots of useful or at least interesting information. I guess that’s what the smart grid is all about.
Chris, I agree, especially when you follow the discussions we facing currently in Germany, around power distribution. The demand analysis of power consumption and predictive weather conditions to estimate the power generation more precise for wind and solar would be enormous helpful. Thanks.