Ten Actions to Implement Big Data Initiatives: A Study of 65 Cities

December 06, 2016 by Alfred Tat-Kei Ho, Bo McCall

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Big Data has become increasingly popular in recent years. Before the mid-2000s, it was not a major topic, especially when compared with the topic of e-government. However, between January 2010 and March 2016, the volume of Google searches for the term increased almost 16 times, while the search volume for e-government continued to decline. By March 2016, the search volume for e-government was only three percent of the searches for Big Data. Big Data refers to the use of a massive amount of data to conduct analyses so that the data patterns and relationships can be used for classification, clustering, anomaly detection, prediction, and other needs in decision making (TechAmerica Foundation 2012). Because data collection devices—including scanners, mobile devices, sensors, digital cameras, and radiofrequency identification (RFID) devices—have become easily accessible and widely used in our daily life, digital records of individual and public activities have grown exponentially over time. The internet, especially through broadband and wireless networks, also allows the easy and continuous transmission of machine data. Transmission logs and network status have also become new forms of Big Data (Power 2014). As a result of all these developments, observers of the movement to Big Data suggest that we are already in the zettabyte era, and by 2020, the world is estimated to have about 40 zettabytes of data (IDC 2014).