Preparations for Teradata Universe 2012 are in full swing and I'm looking forward to a great program with best practices from our customers and outstanding keynote speakers.
I will take the opportunity to highlight on this blog some of our keynote speakers to you.
Roughly two decades after having sparked the Internet revolution, Tim Berners-Lee is one of the leading players in "the data revolution", as he calls it. During the 2009 TED conference, an annual event focused on "ideas worth spreading", he encouraged all governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations to publish their "raw data now". Among those who heeded his call was former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who decided to go ahead with this approach. The British government recently announced that more than 40,000 datasets are available online on data.gov.uk by now, which was set up with support from Tim Berners-Lee.
However, getting the data online is just the first step. To unlock its full potential, it has to be provided in formats that allow people to use and re-use it for apps or web-based analytical services easily. Tim Berners-Lee has recognized these requirements and, therefore, developed a five-star rating for the quality of open data as well as technical standards for linking this data in machine-readable formats. Based on these standards, many data-savvy users have already developed useful tools and provided them to the general public. One fine example is the numberhood app, which integrates more than 80 different open data sources. The smartphone application allows everybody to check how constituencies in the UK are performing with regard to key indicators like economy, house, healthcare or schools.
"If people put data onto the web - government data, scientific data, community data, whatever it is - it will be used by other people to do wonderful things, in ways that they never could have imagined", Tim Berners-Lee concluded at a TED conference two years ago. However, he also pointed out that a lot of work remained to be done. "The Web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past", as Tim Berners-Lee said once. In his keynote speech at Teradata Universe 2012 in Dublin, it will be interesting to learn more about how key issues like the harmonization of data could be tackled to further advance the data revolution.