Using big data to tackle big issues
Today's world is awash with data. But this information is not available as a coherent stream, and the sheer volume isnt always easy to process for innovative uses. An EU-funded project has set out to address these issues and facilitate the exploitation of big data to tackle key societal challenges.
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Easier ways to access and handle big data could permit the development of new applications in many areas, notably the ones where the EU has identified particular potential to benefit society through investment in research and innovation. Known as the seven societal challenges, these priority areas include topics as varied as health, energy, security and the environment.
The BigDataEurope project focuses on making it easier to conduct data-intensive work relevant to these challenges. It engages with the respective stakeholder communities and offers them access to powerful open-source technologies. The project’s big data integrator platform supports processes such as data harvesting, analytics and visualisation.
This support is extended both to entities that are experienced in the use of such technologies and to businesses whose big data journey is only just beginning. The BigDataEurope team strives to provide a flexible solution that is easy to deploy and use.
Requirements for this solution were identified in cooperation with the prospective user communities, with whom the consortium interacts in a number of ways. Workshops, surveys, interviews and online events have, for instance, been organised to further this dialogue.
Insight from the implementation of seven pilots one each for the prioritised societal challenges is also helping to shape the platform. One of these involves processing data streams from wind farms to improve the monitoring of operating conditions and to enable the preventive maintenance of wind turbines.
Another focuses on the classification and prediction of traffic. A third is dedicated to the preparation of datasets in support of a climate modelling experiment. Practical scenarios such as these enable the BigDataEurope partners to assess the relevance of their solution, helping to ensure that it can make a genuine difference in real-world situations.