BOSTON – Researchers in cutting-edge medical fields like neuroscience and genomics are bumping into big data problems that most businesses won’t ever encounter. The human genome, for example, is so complex that it takes large datasets to describe it, yet scientists are not close to understanding its makeup well enough to analyze all the data they collect. At the same time, the field continues to advance at such a rapid pace that results of experiments—and the tools to run them—risk obsolescence by the time they are ready.
Compared to the human genome, there are very few groundbreaking discoveries in the supply chain, or marketing.
But behind the complex human biology, the heads of research centers do encounter issues more familiar to enterprise IT and business executives: changing the culture to accept data sharing, using visualizations as tool to aid communication and further discovery, and planning for future cloud adoption.
At a panel discussion hosted by the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council on Feb. 15, three medical research and bioinformatics experts at Boston-area institutions discussed the challenges they face in collecting, storing, and analyzing medical data.
challenges of big data are beyond storage; the true challenges are handling and
analyzing the data.
Kris Joshi , Global Vice President Healthcare
at Oracle Health Sciences opened the panel with a big data challenge in a sector far from life sciences,
The US Border Patrol. The Border Patrol is tracking and analyzing approximately
50 billion transactions per day in real time. The good: If
there is any cross correlation of a risk the appropriate personnel can be
notified. The bad: If there is any
failure at a center, every border must shut down within 30 minutes.
There was a
tremendous amount of consensus that data is coming in too fast to scale
algorithmic approaches, interact with data, analyze the data, and then have the
ability to repeat the process to get a better output. Within Broad and Harvard
the infrastructure is developed for a general purpose and that is no longer a
scalable model. Further, data sets in the life sciences sector are immensely
different. And often times it is not the volume but the variety that causes
issues. While Michele and Matthew feel the best solution would be to move from
a relational database to fuzzier data models. Kris countered that, while
flexible, data models also lose the traceability of the data which is required
by many federal agencies.
Mobile Cluster seminar, Carrier Innovation Labs: Developer Opportunities!
brought AT&T , Sprint, and Verizon together on a
single panel for the sole purpose of educating our region's developers on the
many opportunities for partnering with them.
James Geshwiler, Managing Director of
CommonAngels opened the panel with the plethora
of programs and initiatives that involved carriers today. From spectrum
licensing to security to the internet of things, he spoke of how carriers can
use "innovation to shift economics back to the innovation providers."
from the Verizon Innovation Center educated the audience on the LTE Innovation
Center, which was launched to discover new revenue sources, much that is
focused on the internet of things and Machine to Machine (M2M). Verizon's
Innovation Center offers different levels of engagement. A company who is
creating for a small or niche market share is able to connect to the LTE
network just by passing through the certification process. An innovation that
could result in larger market-share has an opportunity to be advised to help
grow and develop the product. Verizon also has its own venture arm, 4G VentureForum.
Damon Poole (@damonpoole), Chief Agilist at Eliasen
set the stage for MassTLC’s software development meeting last night at VMWare
in Cambridge with an overview of Continuous Delivery (CD) and the tools and
strategies needed to move to CD to make more money. He
reminded us that we should all be measured on business value delivery not on
how many lines of code are written or how many bugs are fixed. Our ability to deliver value by bringing
ideas to market faster and reducing cycle time is crucial.
Next, Aaron White (@aaronwhite) from Boundless, a start-up in Boston
that makes textbooks free online for college students, discussed their
implementation of the entire suite of agile strategies, from CD to Continuous
Integration to Kanban. They average 10+
deployments per day and every team member takes ownership from conception to
deployment including development, test, QA and their also considering customer
support. To support this they widely use
automated testing. They built an internal dashboard to manage their change log,
which is crucial to managing what’s going out the door. He also highly
recommends Trello as a helpful Kanban project management tool.
and Energy executives gathered at MassTLC member EnerNOC last Thursday, January
24th to talk about how Energy Management is evolving from a
Facilities task to a CFO tracked budget item. This seminar entitled, Energy and the Bottom Line – Tracking and
managing energy costs to a better business advantage featured a panel of experts
including: moderator, Paul Sereiko from the NECEC Institute; Ernest Agresti,
Jr., VP Administration, Cummings Properties; Cynthia Curtis, Chief
Sustainability Officer, CA Technologies; Laurie Giandomenico, Vice President of
Marketing and Communications, EnerNOC; John Messervy, Director of Capital and
Facilities Planning for Partners' Healthcare; Roy Stein, Co-Founder and COO, Zik
Energy Points Inc.
started the conversation talking about the NECEC Institute, whose mission
is to accelerate innovation with the cleantech sector. This is mainly done through
their CleanzoNE initiative.
some data pulled from the internet on Energy consumption in Commercial
buildings which is still a leading contributor to energy consumption in the US.
Lighting and HVAC are the two biggest contributors, but with the ROI of LED
lighting almost 10 years with little return, it can still be a hard sell.
Interestingly, overall energy consumption per dollar GDP is declining and is
projected to continue to decline through 2035. This is due to the decline of
manufacturing in the United States. Manufacturing processes have a very high
energy consumption rate.