Technology_Big data, big government

Big data isn’t just about business. There are government applications too. Deloitte partner Thorsten Engel gives the example of the CCTV footage used in London to monitor thousands of vehicles moving in and out of the city each day. The main database uses number plate recognition to charge drivers who enter or leave central London. This information is also used as input for big data applications run by defence and security organisations that can track dangerous individuals or locate stolen cars.
Engel also talks of “blending and blurring structured and unstructured data”. During potentially troublesome demonstration major US Police department has used big data system with structured data from geographic system to monitor where officers are at any moment while also monitoring messages on the Twitter social media network to see if the crowd is getting angry or frustrated; they would be looking particularly for mentions of violence. This cross-referencing of known, structured data with more nebulous unstructured material is both an advantage and risk with big data projects – and again the value of what’s drawn from the data depends very much on the skill and interpretation of the analyst.

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