Have you ever wondered how CVS, Kroger and many other retailers know just what products you love or use on a regular basis in order to send you great coupons?  The answer is BIG DATA.  I had the opportunity to attend a seminar on New Economy New Rules hosted by Barnes and Thornburg, LLP. The theme of this series is how new technology is being used today to create the new economy.

This event was a panel discussion featuring Rich Carlton, President & COO, Data Realty,LLC, and Bill Barnett Ph.D, Director of Science Community Tools Research Technology Division for Indiana University.  Mr. Carlton builds big data centers for clients and provides a platform for the analysis of the data as a service.  Dr. Barnett oversees clinical research and is the Director of Information Infrastructures.

I found Dr. Barnett particularly fascinating.  He spoke about his work with Regenstrief Institute which was founded by Sam Regenstrief in 1969 because a hospital could not find his record when he presented for care.  Today Regenstrief is a world renowned healthcare research company.  IU and Regenstrief are tracking prescriptions all over the country to review hotspots of disease outbreak.  With today’s data, a healthcare company could look at supermarket purchases in a specific area with a higher propensity to diabetes, for example, just by a consumer scanning his or her card.

The panel shared that some of the challenges the industry faces today are bringing all of the data together in a meaningful way, utilization of memory, and getting the customer’s information on the same platforms.  Researchers are now trying to develop what is called a “triple” store (noun, verb, predicate) which is presenting data as a relationship.  For example, Joe is a member of his company.  Joe shops at Target.

The big data leaders, according to the panel, are Amazon and Google.  At netlogx we use Google for our email as well as our data repository and much more.  What I gleaned from this seminar is that big data in the next five years will be known for medical advancements and cures beyond our wildest dreams so hold on to your hats ladies and gentleman,  netlogx is along for the ride and in the pace car.


Information is the oil of the 21st Century and analytics is the combustion engine – Peter Sondergaard.