The Big Data Consortium is a partnership of universities and industry. The academic founders are Concordia University, Ryerson University, Dalhousie University and Simon Fraser University; industry is represented by Deloitte, TMX Group, the Information Technology Association of Canada and SAS Canada. The consortium also has a government partner, Industry Canada, which represents the Government of Canada.
The first mission will be to conduct the Big Data and Data Analytics Talent Gap Survey in Canada. The primary objective is to determine whether a talent gap exists and, if so, to better understand its breadth and depth, then to develop sector-specific as well as cross-sectoral strategies to address it.
One of the most exciting recent developments in big data is the emergence of what is called the “Internet of Things.” Among the most obvious examples are mobile devices, like smartphones, which are equipped with GPS, leading to location-aware apps and services.
But the impact of the Internet of Things can also be seen in high-frequency financial securities trading, cars that park themselves and warn of impending collisions, and in household appliances that are monitored and controlled from a smartphone.
“This is a fascinating area of study with a huge number of applications,” says Butler. “It’s going to be very exciting to see what the future brings. Big data impacts all aspects of our lives. For example — it can provide transparency to decision-making, which would be a real boon to open government.”