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Harnessing the value of big data, the Internet of Things for Africa

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The bulk of data out there is mostly unstructured, very valuable and if big data is the new oil, then analytics is the refinery. The impact of the variety, volume and velocity of big data was brought into discussion at the Cisco Expo 2013 being held at Sun City.

Alpheus Mangale, MD, Cisco South Africa, one of the keynote speakers at the Cisco Expo 2013 at Sun City. (Image: Cisco)

Big data analytics is being used across the continent to reinforce healthcare and education.

But Peter Ford, MD of Cisco Consultancy Services, said that big data not just about the social good, there are many examples of how big enterprises are making tangible savings on new revenues because of big data.

“Big data is ranked highly throughout Africa, above that of mobility and cloud, by decision makers, CIOs, big data will impact us all – not just a developed world thing,” he said.

According to IDC figures raised in presentations, only 0.05% of the world’s available data is being mined for value. Data and broadband is very much part of the Internet of Everything says Cisco.

“In the future, the Internet of everything is about bringing people, processes and data together, and turning information into action. And how big is the opportunity, in the private sector alone, we are talking about a 14,4 Trillion Dollar industry over the next ten years,” said Howard Charney, Senior Vice President, Office of the President, Cisco US.

Management at the company emphasised that there is expected to be 50 million devices in existence by 2020 and the future will be more concentrated on the connectivity of things, not people.

Charney raised the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Project as a major local example of big data and the connectivity of things. Its success will depend on the availability of computing resources to collect data and the bandwidth necessary to facilitate the information exchange.

Chris Tredger, Online Editor

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