Sumit Sharma

The web of data

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Lets first baseline what we mean by “data” and in doing so, it is important to keep in mind that it’s scope will continue to evolve along with the proliferation of devices and technological innovations. Today, data compromises any and all activity that occurs in the ether and is connected via a network of some sort. As time goes by with an increase in digitization of our lives, we’ll see the data set expanding further and further away from the core uses of the Internet today into our physical and eventually mental worlds. As a consequence, the shift that will constantly occur is that data will increasingly enable the potential to tell a story about our personal lives more accurately as technology evolves.

There are several drivers of the continually expanding web of data as depicted in the diagram below:

Drivers of the web of data

Data could comprise of historical logs of our online activities be it social networking and e-commerce or utility usage such as banking and healthcare applications. It could comprise of characteristics in the physical world such as one’s geographic location and it could also comprise of users’ energy profiles being made available through smart metering devices. Today it is difficult to capture the scope of data, in its present and continually evolving future scope and this paper argues why being able to maintain an overview, and control, of this data is so important.

Emerging economies are still lagging behind in this respect primarily due to infrastructural and quality of living limitations and so it is the developed countries that will be the leaders in producing such data in the short term, and in consuming it because there is already an underlying infrastructure in place. There are well documented roads, business are registered with most having online presences and individuals are increasingly using the digital world for the mundane activities such as banking, taxes, making dinner reservations and reading product recommendations and so on. The users in the developed world for this reason are much more digital savvy since a large portion of their everyday lives are touched by the digital world.

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Written by Sumit

October 12, 2009 at 6:26 am

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