Curiosity Engine learns Big Data

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Discovix has introduced a new method of analyzing massive data sets with its freshly coded Curiosity Engine, which allows users to sort through large, unstructured data sets, charting critical trends and patterns.

According to Discovix co-founder and president Steve Ernst, the Curiosity Engine adds human insight and expertise to the discovery process, continually training the software, allowing it to make smarter and more in-depth data analysis.

"By using simple human insight, we illicit a more powerful and relevant story from unmanageable amounts of unstructured data," he explained.

"We like to refer to this as human intuition at computer speed. Our Curiosity Engine will learn what the user wants from the data to return more and more robust results."

Meanwhile, Discovix co-founder Brian Dolan noted that a user didn't have to be an advanced data engineer to retrieve data from the Curiosity Engine.

"Curiousity isn’t just for static data either," he said. "It can be used for live data mining; looking at tweets, blog postings, emails, and even pictures and videos that are happening right now. The applications are endless."

In related news, Gartner analysts are predicting that 2013 will be the year of larger scale adoption of Big Data technologies. Indeed, according to a recent worldwide survey of IT leaders, 42 percent of respondents stated they had invested in big data technology, or were planning to do so within a year.

"Organizations have increased their understanding of what Big Data is and how it could transform the business in novel ways. The new key questions have shifted to 'What are the strategies and skills required?' and 'How can we measure and ensure our return on investment?'" said Doug Laney, research VP at Gartner.

"Most organizations are still in the early stages, and few have thought through an enterprise approach or realized the profound impact that Big Data will have on their infrastructure, organizations and industries."

As Gartner's Frank Buytendijk notes, organizations are undertaking their big data initiatives in a rapidly shifting technological landscape with disruptive forces that produce and demand new data types and new kinds of information processing.

"They turn to big data technology for two reasons: necessity and conviction. Organizations are becoming aware that big data initiatives are critical because they have identified obvious or potential business opportunities that cannot be met with traditional data sources, technologies or practices. In addition, media hype is often backed with rousing use cases," he explained.

"This makes IT and business leaders worry that they are behind competitors in launching their big data initiatives. Not to worry, ideas and opportunities at this time are boundless, and some of the biggest big data ideas come from adopting and adapting ideas from other industries. Still, this makes it challenging to cut through the hype when evaluating big data technologies, approaches and project alternatives."

Despite these challenges, Gartner predicts that by 2015, 20 percent of Global 1000 organizations will have established a strategic focus on "information infrastructure" equal to that of application management.

To be sure, in anticipation of big data opportunities, organizations across industries are provisionally collecting and storing a burgeoning amount of operational, public, commercial and social data. Yet in most industries - especially government, manufacturing and education - combining these sources with existing underutilized "dark data" such as emails, multimedia and other enterprise content often represents the most immediate opportunity to transform businesses.

Although most of the big data hype is about handling the sheer size and speed of data available, Gartner says its research shows that the ultimate wins will be from those making sense of the broadening range of data sources.