Cisco CIO discusses understanding big data in context

Cisco's CIO offers her opinion on what other CIOs worldwide should be thinking about when looking to the maximize value of big data.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- There is a fundamental change in the way data is moved around today with the availability and demand for cloud, according to Cisco's chief information officer, Rebecca Jacoby, while speaking at GigaOm Structure 2012 on Thursday afternoon.

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She continued that we're moving data and workflows around differently because IT is sourcing them from multiple places and rendering them in a mobile fashion.

"That movement is quite interesting to us as a company," said Jacoby.

As a practitioner at Cisco, Jacoby explained that the networking giant doesn't compare its big data to other companies that use their data specifically for the products they deliver to customers. Instead, she said that Cisco looks at data in context, whether it is structured or unstructured, related to video, etc.

From there, Jacoby said that they try to determine what is the value-added business process, either in productivity, growth opportunities or user experience.

However, she acknowledged that all data analysis requires core foundational elements that need to exist no matter what strategy you choose. These elements consist of determining where you're going to acquire data, hold it, and how you're going to package it up for distribution.

"We started years ago with that concept around all of our data," Jacoby said.

Of course, sometimes there is so much data that you can't move it around. Although the technologies around these processes are evolving, Jacoby suggested sometimes you need to deal with the data where it is sourced.

Jacoby posited, "This is one of the areas where there are many opportunities for companies to get involved on how data is used."

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