IEEE Big Data

Big data is much more than just data bits and bytes on one side and processing on the other. It entails collecting, storing, processing, and analyzing immense quantities of data that is diverse in structure in order to produce insights that are actionable and value-added. Vast amounts of data of various types are being generated at increasing rates. Determining how to utilize this data strategically and efficiently is the goal of technologies associated with the Big Data initiative.

Merely collecting and storing data is not the sole objective of Big Data; rather, enhancement of businesses or societies drives the technologies of Big Data. For example, successful big data solutions can provide targeted marketing, identify new markets, or improve customer service through analysis of customer data, social media, or search engine data. Examination of industrial sensor data or business process data can enhance production, aid in proactive improvements to processes, or optimize supply chain systems. As a final example, society can benefit from big data analytics through intelligent healthcare monitoring, cybersecurity efforts, and smart cities data manipulation.

There are multiple challenges associated with Big Data, including:

  • Recognition of useful versus irrelevant data
  • Collection of distributed data
  • Accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of data
  • Efficient storage and transfer
  • Privacy and security of data
  • Fault tolerance
  • Scalability and economic impact of implementation
  • Intelligent analysis
  • Insightful and flexible presentation


The IEEE Future Directions Big Data Initiative strives to aggregate information about the various endeavors occurring worldwide in order to provide a community of professionals in industry, academia, and government working to solve the challenges associated with Big Data. Through various outlets, participants in the Big Data Technical Community can learn and collaborate on the multi-faceted Big Data initiative that has applications in many industries and markets. Members of the community have access to extensive resources including publications, videos, articles, interviews, webinars, newsletters, workshops, and conferences.

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