The Cloud, “Big Data” and Massachusetts

Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council (MASSTLC) recently published a report on Big Data and Analytics: A Major Market Opportunity for Massachusetts. You can download the report here. Although it is a good report on the opportunities of “Big Data” too much time is spent on Massachusetts’ “data DNA” and too little time spent on what should be done from a Massachusetts high technology industry perspective to create success.

Talking about Massachusetts “data DNA” seems to be an opportunity to talk about a wide variety of past companies that for whatever reason no longer exist or were acquired. It also seemed to be an excuse to list out a bunch of older technology firms that for whatever reason are no longer leaders in their field or were never very successful.  Just because the companies have had past data management products does not make them part of the “Big Data” future.

All that said, the points about the three V’s that have come together to create the opportunity Volume, Velocity, and Variety are all very valid. The industry structure that they lay out including companies in infrastructure, data integration tools, data management solutions, analytics and visualization tools, applications and solutions, and service providers is a good way to look at the wide variety of businesses involved in this opportunity.

The description of new companies providing new solutions to the “Big Data” opportunity is worth reading. There are a variety of Massachusetts companies doing interesting things.

As a Massachusetts resident I would love to believe that “Big Data” will creat 50,000 more jobs in Massachusetts but this number is not supported with any  information as to why MASSTLC believes this will occur.

Another oversight in my view is that the background given on “Big Data” leaves out much of the information on the fact that Cloud Services are what created a lot of the opportunity. Cloud Services including mobile cloud applications are what created much of the data in “Big Data” including click stream, location and social media data that now can be analyzed. In addition the Cloud provides the basic cost-effective infrastructure that allows the inexpensive processing power needed to effectively use the data and provide the innovative services that are key to success in “Big Data”.

I do think that “Big Data” is a large opportunity and some of that opportunity will be capitalized on by Massachusetts companies. It will be interesting to see how it progresses and the report is worth reading.


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