New York set to install free wifi by 2025

A recent article by TechCrunch reported that New York mayor De Blasio has promised to invest $70M over the next 10 years to install universal broadband wifi in New York City.
nycwifiDe Blasio’s office comments that “Broadband is no longer a luxury – it’s as central to education, jobs, businesses and our civic life as water and electricity. For the first time in the history of the City, broadband is in the capital budget”

This is an exciting and natural direction. I think there are few that would argue against viewing the internet as a utility in this day and age. And those that do not have access are unfairly disadvantaged.

The implications for the tech industry and data science is enormous. Not only will there be more data to collect and analysed, but many online companies will now have access to a segment of users that was previously impossible. Some ‘wireless corridors’ already exist to serve disadvantaged communities e.g. the ‘Harlem free wifi zone’. But this is the first time a major USA city has made a openly underlined its dependence on the internet. The next decade in NYC should be an exciting time for data consumers.

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Forget Big Data, we need Big Insights

biginsights

A recent article in the UK Computing journal suggests that the new frontier in industry is extracting insights from big data. While a decade or more ago data ingestion was the greatest challenge to companies collecting large swathes of data, that problem has now largely been overcome.

Of 300 IT professionals interviewed, only 13% saw raw data access as the biggest challenge in their work. The majority were split between transforming raw data into useful data and extracting actionable insights from the useful data.

Database platforms such as SQL and Hadoop and other tools have largely standardised the warehousing and accessing of data across big data consumers. However, insight extraction is the next frontier and there is still no runaway leader or dominant player in this space. It is difficult to build a one size fits all solution to the problems a traditional business analyst might work on.

But it is likely we will see more and more contenders coming to the fore in this potentially lucrative space. It will be an exciting arms race to see play out in the data science world!