Big Data Briefing

Harnessing the potential of Big Data

27 July 2017

Panel: Danny Gillligan, Co-founder and MD, Reinventure Group Pty Ltd; Annick Donat, CEO, Madison Financial; Matt Symons, Director, Red Marker; Fergal Murphy, GM Cognitive Solutions, IBM; and, moderator Simon Burns, Partner, G+T.

The panel acknowledged the wealth of information now available through the aggregation of big data, and talked about ways this can be used for social good.

Some of the examples put forwarded included: A hack-a-thon run with the Department of Health in Melbourne where the winning idea to improve childhood immunisation rates considered looking at low immunisation-rate suburbs and the activities undertaken by people in these communities as alternative avenues to get across the health message; an oncology team in Tokyo which was able to search large medical data sets to arrive at a timely and successful treatment for a patient; and using big data to assist people dislocated in remote and foreign disaster zones, so they can be located in the region and made safe.

The three pillars of Big Data were described as being the protection of privacy, transparency in how the data is used, and skilling people to take full advantage of the data.

The panelists agreed that it was important to put data back in the hands of customers and help them to take control of their data. So, for example, a person should be able to enter their own details to find out exactly what their credit rating is, rather than have institutions hold and conceal that information.

When the panel was asked how business should best approach the evolving technology of Artificial Intelligence, the response was to jump right in. ‘It’s important to be on the journey. You’ll start to learn and to take advantage of it.’