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“42” is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  But for Big Data, the answer is simply “everything.” 

I’ve written a few blogs on the future of 3D printing and its impact on manufacturing and data analytics in the future, or as Chris Anderson stated, “The long tail of things.”  But, up to now, 3D printing has been expensive and mostly for small objects.

Ever wish they would fill-up the pothole quicker?  Municipalities are creating apps to allow the crowd to give them up-to-date notification of problems in the street.  This is in addition to the automated systems that tap into the stream of GPS and cell phone signals to monitor for real-time traffic issues.  “The New Jersey center offers a glimpse at the power of "big data," a term for techniques to gather reams of computerized information points, analyze them and spit out patterns, often in easy-to

One of the more infamous data usage stories over the last week concerned the removal of the iPhone app, “Girls Around Me.”  This app aggregated Foursquare and Facebook data via their respective APIs to generate a map, with pictures, of women in the immediate vicinity that had checked in their locations using Foursquare.  Note that this is not the only app that uses gender specific Foursquare location data, but it was the first to also automatically pull and display the Face

Schumpeter’s blog had (yet another) interesting entry a couple of weeks back:  “Now for some good news.”  It reviews a couple of authors’ view that we are on the cusp of future abundance due to upcoming technical breakthroughs.  The four drivers of the future are listed as the:

“All Things Digital” from the WSJ site pointed to the latest sales estimates for gadgets over the holiday period for 2011.  What stood out was the huge decline in hand-held gadgets:  specifically, dedicated gadgets for which “there is an app for that:”

Blu-ray players: Down 17 percent. (Streaming)

Camcorders: Down 42.5 percent. (Smart Phone)

Digital picture frames: Down 37.5 percent. (Smart Phone)

GPS: Down 32.6 percent. (Smart Phone)

I will admit it:  I did not “get” Twitter.  When it first came out, I could understand news organizations and media tweeting information, and well-known personalities tweeting the minutiae of their daily lives.  But I couldn’t understand the draw of the remaining 99% to also publish their lives on a real-time basis.  But my curmudgeonly world filter needs to adapt as the world of data analytics has seized the opportunity of these new data flows.  Some of the articles that I noted lately:

Over the last couple of years, I have discussed on this blog a number of data explosions coming down the line that will have a huge impact on data warehouse implementations now and into the future.  Many of these topics now fall under the umbrella of “big data.”

And Teradata Corporation – who I work for – has purchased the big data analytics provider Aster Data this year.  So we can look forward to a much closer integration of the typical enterprise data warehouse and big data analytics going forward.

Schumpeter wrote a column in last week’s Economist that did an excellent job in summarizing many of the big data sources that I have addressed on this blog.  It is based on a McKinsey Global Institute write-up, “Big data:  The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.”

Mobile data and use is driving major changes to many industries, and the use of mobiles – especially smartphones – will be a growing force over the next decade across the globe.