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Big Data as the fuel for modern economy

The emerging market of Big Data

Big Data is a term used in reference to the industries involved in the storage and processing of data. Development of the Internet and the widespread availability of low cost devices for digital acquisition and data storage accelerated the growth rate of data collection. Currently, it is estimated that the amount of stored data doubles every 40 months. A quantitative change made it possible to generate a new quality. Information which is the product of the processing of large  (mostly heterogeneous) data sets are of great value, also from the commercial perspective. The recipients of products and services offered by the Big Data industry is the entire economy, administration and public institutions. The tools for processing Big Data are still being developed. The existing definitions of Big Data are still unclear. In some of the definitions, Business Intelligence is treated as a separate type of activity, others, on the other hand, do not separate it. Hence the very large differences in the assessment of market size. According to research conducted in 2015, the solutions that clearly draw from Big Data are already employed by 97% of companies worldwide, while according to European studies, only 25% of them and only 18% in Poland. Regardless of the obvious problems  with definition and classification as well as rather imprecise research methodology, most studies indicate a very fast (10%) pace of market growth and growing importance of the products offered by the industry. The current size of the US market is ~ $ 122 billion.

The means of production of the Big Data industry are:

  • powerful computers possessing data architecture adapted for managing large sets of different types of data,
  • data centers for the collection, integration and storage of information and data,
  • software, including applications using artificial intelligence technology,
  • broadband infrastructure allowing to operate on large data sets in real time.

At the current stage of development, the main activity of Big Data companies is turning data into information. The process of turning this information into knowledge is at an early stage of development, because it requires a greater saturation of algorithms with self-teaching modules. The first recipients of the Big Data market were large data centers and government institutions dealing with statistics, market research and finance. Various research and implementation programs were launched. The programs use the Big Data technology as the basis for eHealth platforms. Classification and research works that use existing data sets as a source of information helping to build new knowledge are currently carried out. The collected data constitutes a study material in many fields of science. Big Data products and services are intensively employed by digital market companies, mainly corporations and large companies, that use in their business data collected in real-time from devices used for monitoring, measurement, control, and other external text and audio data sources.

Main thesis of the discussion

Big Data is a technology and a new branch of industry that within the next 20 years is likely to become the leading tool for integration, classification and production of knowledge as well as for management of collective memory and civilization output.

Description of the issue

Demand for the products of the Big Data industry is greater than its production capacity. The current growth rate is limited by the following factors:

  • lack of technical personnel with adequate knowledge and skills,
  • lack of legal regulations of the market organization and ensuring the security of trading,
  • lack of sufficiently developed production of computers that would meet the needs of data centers,
  • insufficient availability of fiber networks.

The AI shall be the technological basis of this new industry. It can be assumed that this industry will become the industry providing means of production in the era of industry 4.0. This stems from the belief that knowledge will become the main foundation of technology. Europe’s backwardness in the development of Big Data is another consequence of the drawbacks of European innovation funding schemes. Politicians in the European countries underestimate the growing importance of the economies of scale in production efficiency. This, in turn, inhibits integration processes. Paradoxically, the economic slowdown resulting from defects of the integrated innovation system and the lack of a Digital Single Market is a source of social frustration used to weaken even more the integration processes. Big Data industry requires access to a large digital single market. Lack of integration is one of the reasons for the increasing delay in this regard. The analysis of inhibiting factors points to an important role of the State, as a customer, decision maker and legislator in the area of education, infrastructure, law and innovation.

Problematic issues that require discussion, questions, answers and action plans are as follows:

  • launching of departments and schools training Big Data specialists,

What actions are needed in order to make the Polish universities train specialists in the field of Big Data and the AI?

  • providing database to state administration for research and commercial purposes,

How the law on data processing should look like?

  • legal basis and technical measures to ensure data security,

Do the current rules on the protection of personal data can be the starting point for the preparation of a legal act defining the market rules for Big Data industry? 

  • Business models

Is the business is ready to precisely formulate its needs?