Big Data (BD SSG)
Big Data Senior Steering Group (BDSSG)
Big Data is a term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target currently ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set. – Wikipedia, May 2011
The Big Data Senior Steering Group (BDSSG) was formed to identify current big data research and development activities across the Federal government, offer opportunities for coordination, and identify what the goal of a national initiative in this area would look like. Subsequently, in March 2012, The White House Big Data R&D Initiative was launched and the BDSSG continues to work in four main areas to facilitate and further the goals of the Initiative.
Subcommittee Focus Areas
An interagency Big Data Solicitation is ongoing at: http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=504767
Domain Research Projects
Specific research projects that involve the use of big data and interagency collaboration have been identified. The group is currently working to identify common data infrastructure challenges that would benefit from additional research.
Challenges and Competitions
A Big Data Ideation Challenge began in October 2012 as the first in a series of contests that will build understanding about “taking diverse and heterogeneous data sets and making them more homogeneous and usable”. The information derived from this series will inform recommendations on big data research.
Current Agency workforce development programs that either include, or could be evolved to include, big data training have been identified. Currently, a publicly accessible web portal to disseminate this and other information on Federal resources such as access to computing, networking, and storage capacity, is underway. Information is also being collected on current models for creating public-private partnerships which could lead to new program recommendations.
The National Big Data R&D Initiative
Aiming to make the most of the fast-growing volume of digital data, in March 2012, the Obama Administration announced the “Big Data Research and Development Initiative.” By improving our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data, the initiative promises to help solve some the Nation’s most pressing challenges. The Big Data Senior Steering Group continues to work with the White House Office of Science and Technology along with several Federal departments and agencies to help further the goals of the Initiative which strive to:
- Advance state-of-the-art core technologies needed to collect, store, preserve, manage, analyze, and share huge quantities of data.
- Harness these technologies to accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, strengthen our national security, and transform teaching and learning; and
- Expand the workforce needed to develop and use Big Data technologies.
Data to Knowledge to Action
Beginning in the second year of the National Big Data Initiative, the Administration is encouraging multiple stakeholders including federal agencies, private industry, academia, state and local government, non-profits, and foundations, to develop and participate in Big Data innovation projects across the country. The Administration is particularly interested in projects and initiatives that:
- Advance technologies that support Big Data and data analytics;
- Educate and expand the Big Data workforce;
- Develop, demonstrate and evaluate applications of Big Data that improve key outcomes in economic growth, job creation, education, health, energy, sustainability, public safety, advanced manufacturing, science and engineering, and global development;
- Demonstrate the role that prizes and challenges can play in deriving new insights from Big Data; and
- Foster regional innovation.
Calls, Presentations, Workshops, and Events
- The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NITRD hosted an event to highlight high-impact collaborations that cross the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors.
- The National Science Foundation issued a request for information encouraging stakeholders to identify multi-stakeholder Big Data projects they would be willing to support to advance core Big Data technologies; harness the power of Big Data to advance national goals; use competitions and challenges; and foster regional innovation.
- A workshop to discuss future strategies for managing scientific data and metadata for basic and applied research.
- To surface such partnerships and novel approaches that would allow partnerships to scale across the country, this workshop brought together representatives from industry, academia, and government to learn about existing Big Data partnerships, make connections with interested parties, and explore future possibilities.
- January 22, 2013 - Data on Data: Presenting Stakeholder Alignment Data on the Cyberinfrastructure for Earth System Science
- Presentation and discussion with Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld. Professor Cutcher-Gershenfeld presented information on the NSF EarthCube initiative including stakeholder survey data (approximately 850 responses).
Select Press Highlights
- November 12, 2013 -- White House promotes new partnerships as it seeks to make better use of ‘big data’
- “The Obama administration plans Tuesday to announce a new set of partnerships that enlist private companies, nonprofits, academics and others in an effort to harness big data to solve national problems. The new alliances come more than a year and a half after the administration established $200 million in big data initiatives aimed at sorting through the massive reams of information collected by the government to glean new insights.” (Source: Washington Post) Read the article. Read additional articles on this event (to be posted).
- March 14, 2013 (Bloomberg) -- Altman, Groschupf, Mahony, Strawn `Big Data' Value
- "Anne Altman, a general manager at International Business Machines Corp., Stefan Groschupf, co-founder and chief executive officer of Datameer Inc., Colin Mahony, senior vice president at Vertica, a unit of Hewlett-Packard Co., and George Strawn, a director at the National Coordination Office, participate in a panel discussion about opportunities in so-called big data services. Bloomberg's Michael Nelson moderates the panel at the Bloomberg Link Big Data Conference in Washington. (Source: Bloomberg)" Watch video