New Pew report : The Future of Big Data

Experts predict big possibilities for ‘Big Data’ – and some problems, too.The growing technological ability to collect and analyze massive sets of information, known as Big Data, could lead to revolutionary changes in business, political and social enterprises, according to a new survey of internet experts and stakeholders.But while leading technologists and researchers around the world look forward to the positive impact of Big Data, many also worry about potential drawbacks.

A new Pew Internet/Elon University survey of 1,021 Internet experts, observers and stakeholders measured current opinions about the potential impact of human and machine analysis of newly emerging large data sets in the years ahead. The survey is an opt-in, online canvassing. Some 53% of those surveyed predicted that the rise of Big Data is likely be “a huge positive for society in nearly all respects” by the year 2020. Some 39% of survey participants said it is likely to be “a big negative.”

“The analysts who expect we will see a mostly positive future say collection and analysis of Big Data will improve our understanding of ourselves and the world,” said researcher Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. “They predict that the continuing development of real-time data analysis and enhanced pattern recognition could bring revolutionary change to personal life, to the business world and to government.”

Read or download the full report