Government & Technology Start Ups

Big Data Just Got Hyper

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Big data is morphing into hyper data. Big data was the buzz word but it wasn’t big enough so it moved at hyper speed. And now it is hyper data. So the next thing will be data faster than the speed of light and if you don’t buy our data analysis you are light years away?

Got it. It’s clear to me now.

The co-founder of ClearStory, a Palo Alto hyper (maiden name ‘big’) data startup chose her words carefully I am sure for the NYT interview in November 2013 when she said, referring to how to use their new data on the fly software,

The trick, said Sharmila Shahani-Mulligan, ClearStory’s co-founder and chief executive, was developing a way to quickly and accurately find all of the data sources available. Another was figuring out how to present data on, say, typical weather in a community, in a way that was useful.

“That way,” said Ms. Shahani-Mulligan, “a coffee shop can tell if customers will drink Red Bull or hot chocolate.”

That’s great! And when the coffee shop learns about the new, new thing in the field of quantum mechanics  – a window that opens and closes (the weather! Look – it’s cold and raining! I got it, they want hot chocolate!!) what happens then? Does hyper revert to micro, skipping big, medium and small? Really, Ms. Shahani-Mulligan? Really?

It’s kind of cute though – fits right in with the retro Palo Alto start up called Deliv. What do they do? Hold tight! You won’t believe it. Work with me here, it gets complicated. Suppose you go shopping at Stanford Shopping Center. You buy shoes at Macy’s. And a coat. But you don’t want to take it home yourself. Still with me? Ok. Here it is: You can get it delivered! Right to your door! Daamn…my mother who shopped at the A&P was so ahead of the curve. She was having groceries delivered when I was growing up. I bet A&P didn’t get venture capital funding though.

So, we are clear on the data presented here: you can hire a major firm to tell you the weather and you can have your packages delivered. This is Silicon Valley folks, come and join the free for all! Dylan was right, you don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind is blowing. You need Ms. Shahani-Mulligan. High Street, Palo Alto. Around the corner from Whole Foods on Homer. (hyper local data, no charge.)

The New York Times article had some more interesting data points. Apparently when Google and Yahoo and Facebook were faced with lots and lots of data, “like how people cruised the Web or comments they made to their friends”, they didn’t know how to analyze it.

But not to worry, the New York Times tells us: “New hardware and software have also been created that sharply cut the time it takes to analyze this information, fetching it as fast as an iPhone fetches a song.”

We can all go to sleep now. Big data is hyper, being delivered to your door. Your comments are analyzed, your privacy is gone, and it’s cloudy with a chance of annihilation. Are we clear now?

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