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Big Data and Academic Libraries

B Radhika Rani Prof. S Sudarshan Rao

Asst. Professor, Head UGC Emeritus Fellow
Dept. of Library & Inf. Sci Dept. of Lib. & Inf. Sci.
Kakatiya University
Osmania University

In Knowledge Based Society, both enterprise application

data and machine generated data, known as Big Data,
continue to grow exponentially, challenging industry experts
and researchers to develop new innovative techniques to
find information and solutions to the problems of the

This has lead to new advances in data storage and analysis

and the concept of big data massive data sets that can
yield surprising insights when analyzed.

This Paper briefly describes what and why is big data

important to Academic Libraries. It explores the possibilities
and its implications on librarians and enumerates some of
the Big Data projects.

In the Knowledge society, the competitive

advantage is gained through understanding
the information and predicting the evolution of
facts based on data.
Introduction, contd
The crux of the Big Data paradigm is
actually not the increasingly large amount of
data itself, but its analysis for intelligent

The process can be seen as the natural

consequence in the evolution from the
Information Age and Information
Big Data Wrold
What is Big Data?
Anderson (2008) - the era of big data, where more isnt
just more. More is different.

Ward and Barker (2013) - Big data is a phrase describing

the storage and analysis of large and or complex data
sets using a series of techniques.

TechAmerica Foundations Federal Big data Commission

defines Big data is a term that describes large volumes
of high velocity, complex and variable data that require
advanced techniques and technologies to enable the
capture, storage, distribution, management and analysis
of the information.
Big Data
Characteristic features of Big Data 3Vs(Berman,

Few more Vs suggested by People working on Big Data

projects are:
Existence of Big Data / Sources of Big Data

An organization that collected a lot of data, can

seek to organize the data so that materials can be
retrieved, as needed. The Big Data effort is
intended to streamline the regular activities of the
organization. The collected data can be used, in its
totality, to improve quality of service, increasing
staff efficiency and reducing operational costs.
An organization that collected a lot of data, may
enable them to develop new products based on
the preferences of their loyal customers to reach
new markets.
Existence of Big Data, Contd..
An organization is part of a group of entities that have
large data resources. All of whom understand that it would
be to their mutual advantage to federate their data
An organization with skills and vision develops a project
where in large amounts of data are collected and
organized to the benefit of themselves and their user-
An entity / organization has no data and has no particular
expertise in Big Data technologies, but it has money and
vision. The entity seeks to fund and coordinate a group of
data creators and data holders who will build a Big Data
resource that can be used by others.
Who will benefit from
Big Data
Government agencies, Corporate organizations, research
institutions, etc.
NSF (National Science Foundations, 2012 ), USA envisions
Predictions of Natural Disasters
Responses to disaster recovery.
Complete health/disease/genome.
Accurate high-resolution models to support forecasting.
Consumers have the information they need
Civil engineers
Students and researchers
Characteristics of Big Data

Big Data resources are permanent, and the

data within the resource is immutable.
Big Data resources are permanent, any
analysis can be critically examined with the
same set of data, or reanalyzed anytime in
the future.
All the data in the informational universe is
complex built from simple data. Just as starts
can exhaust themselves explode, or even
collapse under their own weight to become
black holes.
Big Data and Libraries

Big data technologies make it easier to work

with large datasets, link different datasets,
detect patterns in real time, predict outcomes,
undertake dynamic risk scoring and test
Libraries and librarians are uniquely suited to
working with big data. Libraries have a long
tradition of being information handlers and
technology adopters, and big data should be
no exception.
How librarians can get involved
with Big Data
Collection Development and Preservation of Data Sets.
Usage Data Use Statistics
Research Data Management
Data Literacy into their Instructional Programs

But all these requires understanding of what data we have, what

data we need to have created, what data we need to negotiate for,
and then gaining access and doing the analysis.

Then, it requires us presenting the results of our analysis to our

management and users, so as to make decisions.

It helps us steer our organizations further.

Big Data Projects and Resources

Amazon Web Services Public Data Sets.

Open Data Census
Project Gutenberg
National Government Statistical Web Sites
National Space Science Data Center

We live in an era of Big Data, the data generated in

academic institutions is vast and complex. The idea of
extracting new and exciting insights from previously
unmanageable data is a bit like finding the proverbial
needle in a haystack.
Just as they have with previous technological advances,
librarians should become familiar with the possibilities
and problems inherent to big data and use that
knowledge to help their patrons choose the right tools.
The academic librarians have a clear role in data
analytics to help the institutions and the stakeholders in
bettering the services and quality of education.

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