Big data seemed like all of the other marketing hype that we hear. But as the months have gone by, it seems clear that everyone is dealing with big data. You know, data coming in so fast that you can't adequately analyze it (at least not as efficiently and quickly as you and your company would like). And the data sources are different from those that you were working with in the past. What we need today is a little automation.
Your skills and expertise are a very meaningful part of the analysis process, but some of the tasks can be automated. For instance, instead of having to know exactly what to look for at any given moment, you can set up alerts to proactively identify, prioritize and provide information - all based on pattern identification and quantification of risk.
In this case study, the US government is using social network analysis software to answer questions that were unanswerable before or would have taken several analysts days, weeks or months:
- Can the occurrence of one event be linked to another, thereby establishing a pattern?
- Does a particular transaction or event exhibit any alarming characteristics?
- Has some network collectively engaged in alarming transactions or activities?
- Does an activity significantly deviate from normal, expected behavior?
- Do changes in the frequency of communications indicate that an event is likely to occur? Should I be concerned about some recent activity, even though it seems harmless on its own?