The hype and the hope: Progressing towards big data insights for regional communities

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Helen Thompson, Peter Dahlhaus & Andrew MacLeod …

Helen Thompson, Peter Dahlhaus & Andrew MacLeod
Federation University Australia, Ballarat, Victoria

In this age of ‘big data’ virtually every field of research and practice is being redefined. Governments are adopting open data policies with the aim of delivering efficiency benefits, increasing evidence based planning, enhancing productivity and innovation. Inescapable discussions around big data and analytics are partly in response to an increased availability of next generation broadband and mobile technologies which have created a society that is spatially enabled and aware. Big business and citizens increasingly expect to be able to access past and current information about any location to find answers to their spatial queries. Opportunities are emerging for regional communities to take initiative and eradicate information silos which may have hindered regional collaboration and innovation. In parallel with assisting regions to embrace big data and foster data sharing a range of research questions arise:

1. What are the best methods to provide access to big and complex data, to assist decision makers?
2. How can digital technologies be used to enhance, rather than repeat, past research?
3. Can qualitative data be used to improve the accuracy of quantitative data or metadata?
4. How can we harness Citizen Science and include crowd-sourced data, while minimising subjective bias and maintaining accuracy?

Interoperable spatial knowledge systems with dynamic modelling and visualisation capabilities have been developed in response to these research challenges. Examples are provided of systems developed in a variety of fields including groundwater research, catchment management, and strategic planning for bushfire.

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  • 1. Oxford Dictionaries: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/big-data
    2:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/au/data/bigdata/ Big data spans three dimensions: Variety, Velocity and Volume.
    Variety - Big data extends beyond structured data, including unstructured data of all varieties: text, audio, video, click streams, log files and more.
    Velocity - Often time-sensitive, big data must be used as it is streaming in to the enterprise in order to maximise its value to the business.
    Volume - Big data comes in one size: large. Enterprises are awash
  • International news/victorian public service: http://vic.psnews.com.au/worldVICpsn3591.html;
    Open Forum.com.au: http://www.openforum.com.au/Big%20Data%20Internet%20of%20Things%20and%20Civil%20Rights
    South Coast Register: http://www.southcoastregister.com.au/story/1792850/how-big-data-pings-you-as-a-spender/
    The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jun/13/big-data-how-predictive-analytics-is-taking-over-the-public-sector
    The Observer: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/may/10/job-hunting-big-data-interview-algorithms-employees
    China Daily USA: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2014-04/21/content_17450866.htm
    The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2014/apr/17/big-data-government-public-services-expert-views
    Deloitte China: http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-China/Local%20Assets/Documents/Industries/Technology,%20media%20and%20telecommunications/cn_tmt_bigdatawhatsthebigdeal_030114.pdf
    The Australian:
  • http://codata.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/CODATA-Big-Data-Workshop-STATEMENT-v07-FINAL.pdf

Transcript

  • 1. Centre for eCommerce and Communications The hype and the hope: Progressing towards big data insights for regional communities Dr Helen Thompson, Dr Peter Dahlhaus, Mr Andrew Macleod Federation University Australia Presentation for Digital Rural Futures Conference University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Campus 25-27 June 2014
  • 2. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Research Questions • What are the best methods to provide access to big and complex data, to assist decision makers? • How can digital technologies be used to enhance, rather than repeat, past research? • Can qualitative data be used to improve the accuracy of quantitative data or metadata? • How can we harness citizen science and include crowd-sourced data, while minimising subjective bias and maintaining accuracy?
  • 3. Centre for eCommerce and Communications What is Big Data? Definition: big data: Computing data sets that are too large and complex to manipulate or interrogate with standard methods or tools: much IT investment is going towards managing and maintaining big data1. Examples of big data: sensors gathering weather information; GPS signals; transactions of online purchases. Big data spans three dimensions: Variety; Velocity and Volume 2
  • 4. Centre for eCommerce and Communications White House juggles privacy and big data1 What have Big Data, the Internet of Things and Civil Rights have to do with each other? 2 How 'Big Data' pings you as a spender3 Big data: how predictive analytics is taking over the public sector4 Job hunting is a matter of Big Data, not how you perform at an interview 5 When big data can lead to big profit6 How big data is transforming public services – expert views7 Big Data: What’s the big deal?8 Rural Australia gets big data boost9
  • 5. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Government and Big Data Most Australian jurisdictions have introduced open data policies Aims of new open data policies include: • Delivering efficiency benefits • Evidence based planning • Enhanced productivity • Innovation outcomes
  • 6. Centre for eCommerce and Communications What about Regional Communities? • Regional Australia has rapidly adopted smart technologies for communication and information access and sharing. • New technologies have the potential to reduce traditional ‘information silos’ and enable greater access to decision useful information for regional communities. • Opportunity to activate and initiate regional collaborations and innovations. • Regional universities are uniquely placed to facilitate big data projects across multiple disciplines.
  • 7. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Engagement and research Interoperable - Linking data sources Spatial representation of data - Place-based data Visualisation - 2D & 3D imagery and models spatial.federation.edu.au
  • 8. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Farm trials research • Provide improved and enhanced access to historical and future farm trials information and data. • Initial pilot with three grower groups 1,285 trial projects 841 trial projects have trial data 11,681 individual tests 1,014 variety types 4,320 treatment types 36 unique measurement types
  • 9. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater • The VVG portal provides access to groundwater data from across Victoria. • It features a unique state- wide map of over 275,000 bores, providing access to a user-friendly database offering the most comprehensive view of groundwater data in Victoria • Web-based 3D Visualisation tools.
  • 10. Centre for eCommerce and Communications
  • 11. Centre for eCommerce and Communications
  • 12. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Soil Health • Project initiated by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority to construct an online repository of soil health information and knowledge • Includes reports, research papers, maps and descriptions related to: • current and past soil series mapping • land capability and suitability assessments • agricultural trials • soil research and investigations
  • 13. Centre for eCommerce and Communications
  • 14. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Digital Soil Mapping • OzDSM is a collaborative workspace for researchers working on digital soil mapping (DSM) in Australia. • DSM utilises numerical methods and information technologies to produce predictive maps of soil types and their properties. • Technologies include Map server, Open layers with features incorporating • Features: Spatially enabled database, Layer querying
  • 15. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Soil landform map
  • 16. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Integrated Fire Management Planning • An interoperable spatial information system for Barwon South West stakeholders • Providing access to the most current relevant information and fire risk data • Supporting the community to develop integrated regional and local fire management plans. • Technology – Open layers, VicMAP API • Features – Layer stacking, layer transparency, interoperable data
  • 17. Centre for eCommerce and Communications DEPI fire history and planned burns
  • 18. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Natural Disaster Research In response to the landslide events of January 2011 in the Grampians National Park, Federation University Australia have been engaged by Northern Grampians Shire to investigate the social, economic and environmental impact of the events
  • 19. Centre for eCommerce and Communications
  • 20. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Regional history • The Eureka Stockade: An Interactive History portal contains historical overlays and points of interest in the Ballarat area around the time of the Eureka Stockade. • Dynamic map is an interactive spatial interface to the underlying information.
  • 21. Centre for eCommerce and Communications
  • 22. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Sport and Recreation • A national geographic information system (GIS) for presenting spatial data. • Provides the sport and recreation sector with increased capacity for research, strategic planning, and development of participation programs and facilities. • Technology – Map server, Open layers, Spatially enabled database, Thematic maps, Large dataset (ERASS 10 year survey), queryable layers, sortable layers, transparent layers
  • 23. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Netball 2012 participation rate by postcode
  • 24. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Big Data recommendations and relevance to regional Australia International Council for Science : Committee on Data for Science and Technology • Respond to the importance of Big Data for international scientific programmes; • Exploit the benefits of Big Data for society; • Improve understanding of Big Data through international collaboration; • Promote universal access to Big Data through global research infrastructures; • Explore and address the challenges of Big Data stewardship; • Encourage capacity building and skills development; • Foster the development of policies to maximise exploitation of Big Data.
  • 25. Centre for eCommerce and Communications Contact Dr Helen Thompson Director, Centre for eCommerce and Communications Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Federation University Australia E: h.thompson@federation.edu.au Twitter: federation.edu.au spatial.federation.edu.au federation.edu.au/cecc