Massachusetts Still Serious About Big Data

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MassBigDataReportI comment frequently on the need for enterprises to get serious about big data, but enterprises are not the only ones that need to get with the program. Government entities and agencies, both state and federal, as well as NGOs, should all be looking at the ways in which they are impacted by big data, as well as the opportunities and threats that it presents.

In 2012, Massachusetts demonstrated some leadership in this area and launched the Massachusetts Big Data Initiative, to “leverage and expand the Commonwealth’s position as a global leader in the rapidly growing big data sector.”

Last week, along with announcing a $3 million capital investment to launch the Massachusetts Open Cloud project, Governor Deval Patrick announced the 2014 Mass Big Data report, which aims to provide an updated assessment of the state’s position in big data.

Some highlights from the report:

  • Mass has a burgeoning big data ecosystem of nearly 500 companies, including market leaders like EMC, IBM, Akamai and Oracle (though while I’m sure IBM and Oracle both have a significant presence in Mass, neither company is headquartered there).
  • Ten university and hospital research centers in the state are developing new technologies and techniques, and using big data to answer questions in healthcare, life sciences, communications, cyber security, transportation, energy and other fields.
  • Organizations in the state have received nearly $20 million in federal funds for big data.
  • Investment in Massachussets-based big data related companies topped $2.5 billion, with 80 new companies launched since 2010.
  • Nearly 5,600 students graduate from 14 data science related programs at in-state colleges and universities.

Note, the state uses the term “related” pretty loosely, so you should take these figures with a grain of salt. All the details are laid out in the report though, alongside lots of other interesting tidbits, so I encourage you to take a look for yourself.

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