RISE ICT stories: Big is beautiful and the power of data

The volume of information produced by smartphones, cloud services, business databases and industrial sensors grows every day. Properly analyzed, this information can be a valuable source of knowledge. RISE SICS is managing a pioneering research project into the power of Big Data Analytics.

In the emerging field of Big Data Analytics, large amounts of data of various types is collected, stored and analyzed to uncover hidden patterns and unknown correlations. This information can improve processes in society as well as provide competitive advantages to companies.

Advanced data analysis by industry experts

Big Data Analytics is a six-month research project led by SICS that brings together a broad spectrum of stakeholders from academia, industry and public sector. The project will result in a national
research and innovation agenda for the future. “We’ll examine industry needs, competence and possibilities in a technology domain that will have a large impact on Swedish competitiveness,” says
SICS’s Daniel Gillblad, who leads the project.

Exploring new areas of value creation

Today, we produce massive amounts of data that is largely unstructured and transient. It comes from a variety of sources and types: text, video, geospatial data, information captured by a sensor in a plant or a vehicle, or from social interactions via the web. If this data is collected, stored and analyzed, it would be possible to optimize various processes in society.

For example, with the extensive use of smartphones, motion patterns can be analyzed and used in the planning of new roads, railroads, electricity networks and public transport. By cross-examining data from the health report system with search terms used on the Internet, Big Data Analytics can be used to predict the spread of diseases. It can transform vehicle data into information that allows people use their machines in better ways. It can also help us to better understand customer behavior.

Protecting business-critical information

The objective of Big Data Analytics is to make statements about collective behavior. As many analysis applications involve aspects of integrity, privacy protection is a main challenge. In order to create new Big Data Analytics services, there is a need for a framework where actors can exchange data from different sources without violating the integrity of others. Another challenge is to design solutions that will not reveal business-critical information when disseminated.

“We need a framework that protects integrity and prevents companies from exposing proprietary and business sensitive information,” adds Gillblad. “Our goal is to examine a broad range of applications. This is why we have participants from established and/or traditional industry as well as new companies, whose business concept is to analyze data and provide it as a service,” he comments.

Developing a strong network

During the research process, a multidisciplinary network of researchers and Swedish companies from different segments will interact and attract new stakeholders in Big Data Analytics, laying the foundation for future cooperation.

“When we have captured their needs and the agenda is in place, the ambition is to start new research projects together,” explains Gillblad.

Project partners

Ericsson, IBM, Volvo Technology, SKF, Spotify, TIBCO Spotfire, Recorded Future, Gavagai, KTH, Stockholms universitet, Chalmers, Luleå tekniska universitet, Högskolan i Halmstad, RISE SICS and RISE Viktoria.

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