Integrating Big Data is Like Mixing Oil and Water

Oil and Water Don't MixI have never liked the term ‘big data’, it tends to be an overused buzzword. I prefer the term ‘large unstructured data’ because it is a more accurate definition. As one might expect, it is difficult to effectively combine structured data with unstructured data, in many ways it is like mixing oil and water. If you put oil and water together in a jar and shake it, you will get a mixture but it is unstable and useless for pretty much anything. Data is much the same. You cannot just mash everything together and expect to gain useful insights, you need the right approach. (more…)

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Data Storage Risks, and How To Prevent a Data Breach

The Student Loan Data Breach

studentloanA topic I find particularly interesting is the student loan data breach of 2012. The incident involves a dataset containing personal information of 583,000 Canada student loan borrowers, stored on an external hard drive. The dataset was not encrypted and the hard drive was stored in an unlocked filing cabinet. The hard drive was reported missing in 2012, this kicked off a series of events including a public statement concerning the breach, an RCMP investigation, and a class action lawsuit against the government. (more…)

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