Big data is much more than just data bits and bytes on one side and processing on the other. It entails collecting, storing, processing, and analyzing immense quantities of data that is diverse in structure in order to produce insights that are actionable and value-added. Vast amounts of data of various types are being generated at increasing rates. Determining how to utilize this data strategically and efficiently is the goal of technologies associated with the Big Data initiative.

Merely collecting and storing data is not the sole objective of Big Data; rather, enhancement of businesses or societies drives the technologies of Big Data. For example, successful big data solutions can provide targeted marketing, identify new markets, or improve customer service through analysis of customer data, social media, or search engine data. Examination of industrial sensor data or business process data can enhance production, aid in proactive improvements to processes, or optimize supply chain systems. As a final example, society can benefit from big data analytics through intelligent healthcare monitoring, cybersecurity efforts, and smart cities data manipulation.


There are multiple challenges associated with Big Data, including:

  • Recognition of useful versus irrelevant data
  • Collection of distributed data
  • Accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of data
  • Efficient storage and transfer
  • Privacy and security of data
  • Fault tolerance
  • Scalability and economic impact of implementation
  • Intelligent analysis
  • Insightful and flexible presentation


The IEEE Future Directions Big Data Initiative strives to aggregate information about the various endeavors occurring worldwide in order to provide a community of professionals in industry, academia, and government working to solve the challenges associated with Big Data. Through various outlets, participants in the Big Data Technical Community can learn and collaborate on the multi-faceted Big Data initiative that has applications in many industries and markets. Members of the community have access to extensive resources including publications, videos, articles, interviews, webinars, newsletters, workshops, and conferences.


Steering Committee

David Belanger, Chair Communications Society
Jie Li, Co-Chair Communications Society
Suprasad Amari Reliability Society
Carole Carey Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Wo Chang National Institute of Standards and Technology
Chi-Ming Chen Communications Society
Mahmoud Daneshmand  Sensors Council
Winnie Duan AT&T
Steven Dukes Consumer Electronics Society
Gerry Grenier PubTech
Kathy Grise IEEE Future Directions Program Director
Christian Hansen Reliability Society
Ling Liu Computer Society
Ray Liu Signal Processing Society
Carolyn McGregor Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Steve Miller IBM
Lyria Bennett Moses Society on Social Implications of Technology
Jon Rokne Computer Society
Malcolm Slaney Signal Processing Society
Cherry Tom Standards Association
Mehmet Ulema Communications Society
May Wang Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Chetan Yadatinarasimha WiPro
Xin Yao Computational Intelligence Society
Doug Zuckerman Communications Society


Participating Societies

IEEE Communications Society IEEE Computational Intelligence Society IEEE Computer Society IEEE Consumer Electronics Society
IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society IEEE Reliability Society IEEE Sensors Council IEEE Signal Processing Society‚Äč
Society on Social Implications of Technology IEEE Standards Association

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