Last night we had a standing room only house here at our San Francisco headquarters for our Thought Leadership Panel on Big Open Data. Our panelists included B. Bonin Bough, Global Director of Digital and Social Media, PepsiCo; Roger Magoulas, Director of Market Research, O'Reilly Media; W. Bryan Smith, Senior Scientist, Machine Learning, Quid; Robert Munro, CTO, EpidemicIQ; and own Jodee Rich, CEO, PeopleBrowsr.
All the panelists agreed that there were incredible gains to be had from opening up 'Big Data' for research, particularly in the health care field. There are amazing data sets sitting out there that for a variety of reasons - practical, legal and legislative - we are unable to use for research. The bottom line for the panelists is that "The data is more powerful when it can be openly shared and analyzed for the common good."
One audience member wondered which companies were best positioned to take advantage of the Big Data revolution. Our panelists agreed that wide access to computing power (via Rackspace, AWS and others) means that a small company is as likely as a large one to make breakthroughs. Nevertheless, as @wingdude said, "We are at the Mendel stage of social data." Bryan Smith showed a way forward with his belief that "To capitalize on market, leverage machine-learning, we need to train computers to analyze data as well as people can."
There was much more mind-blowing stuff, like Bonin Bough's vision of PepsiCo as one of the world's largest technology companies and Rob Munro's statement that "Epidemics are the biggest killer of humans in the world, yet nobody tracks the data." A really great discussion followed by a reception featuring bites from our faves Easy Creole. Don't miss the next one!
Here are Jodee's presentation, Bonin presenting earlier this year on PepsiCo's Digital Fitness initiative and some shots from our event: