Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Kevin Jackson, Blue Box Blog, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Bob Gourley on the Ethics, Analytics and Future of Big Data

How does Bob Gourley, founder and CTO of Crucial Point, LLCand Editor of the popular tech blog CTOVision.com define big data?

Bob Gourley, editor of CTOvision as well as  founder and CTO of Crucial Point, LLC, was recently interviewed by WashingtonExec, where he shared his views on emerging information technology, government needs, and Big Data.

The original article can be found here, and the interview is reproduced below:

How does Bob Gourley, founder and CTO of Crucial Point, LLCand Editor of the popular tech blog CTOVision.com define big data?

WashingtonExec caught up with Gourley to talk about what he learned from his time in government that has guided him in the private sector, what he predicts will be “the next big thing” for the IT industry, and also gave an update on the 2012 Big Data Solutions Awards.

Securing IP addresses, banking apps and predictive analytics were also discussed in this interview.

WashingtonExec:  Could you start out by telling us a little about your background?

Bob Gourley: My background was an operational intelligence officer in the Navy where I did all source intelligence support to operational forces.  In the last four years of my career I was doing intelligence support to new missions of cyber security.  I then spent time in industry, where I worked primarily on the strategy and technology development side.  From there I went back into government as the Chief Technology Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency.  I was there during a period of enterprise consolidation and enhanced support to military operations.  I left DIA in late 2007 and began writing for technologists like me; enterprise CTOs.  That gave rise to the blog CTOVision.com.

——————————————————————————
“I joke around and I say it’s a little like being in the mafia – you can never really leave the government.  Once you’ve been in they keep you in.  They bring you in for studies, assessments, panels and advisory boards – I really enjoy that kind of thing.” ————————————————————————–

WashingtonExec: How have you gained 9,000 monthly subscribers or followers?  What made you start CTOVision.com?

Bob Gourley: I had messages that I wanted to provide for others but it was also in part for me; a way to force myself to keep learning and to keep studying the new technologies coming over the horizon. I would be doing that even if I just had a handful of readers.  I really think I would be studying and writing.  As I started writing people started reading and started contributing to the blog by providing comments or suggesting articles or suggesting themes that we should address.  That is when the readership started growing – when there was more interaction.  As people began to interact via Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter the dialogue continued.  We began a series of newsletters that are fed by the blog and there to spread by word of mouth. A couple of lessons learned; one is I think any writer would tell you it takes a discipline . . . you need to set agendas and goals for yourself and keep writing.  Another is, it really pays to listen to your readers because your readers will tell you their hardest problems and their challenges. I also run the government big data newsletter.  It’s a way that I stay in touch with people weekly that are interested in the big data topic in the federal government.

WashingtonExec:  How do you balance between publishing lots of content and making sure that your content is always relevant and interesting?

Bob Gourley: That’s a great question.  I take lessons from my time in industry. At TRW, the view was that you want to be the best at building satellites. If you build them good enough the government will come to you for them, no matter what. So you hire the best people, invest in the best R&D, design the best satellites, and all that discriminates you so you win the business.  The same lessons of seeking differentiation apply elsewhere.  We run a tiny blog but I want that to be differentiated.  If we publish three articles a day that add value, that’s terrific.  If we go a week without publishing except for one article that adds incredible value – that’s terrific.  We’re about adding value not how much we post. So I work with the best writers and focus on topics others can’t touch.

Our team of writers, including senior technology analysts Ryan Kamauff and Alex Olesker and a long list of guest bloggers, all focus on their own differentiation as well. Ryan tends to write more about hot consumer technologies that have an impact on enterprises. Alex tends to write more about analytical tools, Big Data and advanced cyber solutions.

WashingtonExec:  What did you learn in government that has helped you as a private sector CTO?

Bob Gourley: I joke around and I say it’s a little like being in the mafia – you can never really leave the government.  Once you’ve been in they keep you in.  They bring you in for studies, assessments, panels and advisory boards – I really enjoy that kind of thing.  I like the camaraderie and the espirit de corps; I like the big missions of government and I like seeing people do incredibly well. A lot of folks that make the transition out of a government career into industry I believe have similar feelings – you want to contribute and make sure that things progress in government.

WashingtonExec:  Why do you think we’ve seen this big explosion of government needing big data products? Data mining has been around for awhile.

Bob Gourley: As long as there have been computers there has been data. A certain group of data scientists started using the term big data to describe a new approach focused on making better use of all of your data, not just for business intelligence but for asking any question.  This requires new designs.  It requires things like Apache Hadoop.  It requires things like commodity hardware used at scale and a lot of other specific capabilities.  When these technologists and architects and designers use the term big data that’s what they are referring to. People should not use that term to just mean large quantities of information or doing business the old way.

WashingtonExec:  Why do you think we are seeing this new trend of the government now keeping track of unstructured data and social media trends?

Bob Gourley: It is the area where data is growing the most.  When data is generated by machine you think the machine generated data is going to be all structured. The growth of video and images – there’s some structure there.  There’s metadata on top of the images that has structure but the images themselves are just full of unstructured information.  Part of it is the need because that’s where the massive quantities of data are is in this unstructured information.  Also you want to do analysis over things important to human beings and the humans are good at generating this unstructured information.

———————————————————————
“I think a growing important field is on the ethics of big data and there’s multiple elements of that.  I think that every one of us citizens should be interested in but especially those of us who deal with the federal government should be interested in.” ———————————————————————

WashingtonExec:  Do you think that current cyber security standards . . . do you think current laws need to be updated?

Bob Gourley: I think a growing important field is on the ethics of big data and there’s multiple elements of that.  I think that every one of us citizens should be interested in but especially those of us who deal with the federal government should be interested in. A thought leader in this domain named Kord Davis has written severalposts at CTOVision for us on the ethics of big data including topics like identity, your reputation in the age of big data and also the ethics around data ownership and data identity and IP addresses.  For example is an IP address traceable to human beings and therefore does it deserve the privacy a person deserves? These are ethical issues that I believe all citizens should be interested in but especially people around the federal government. With some of these big data solutions we can inadvertently threaten some of the privacies that our citizens expect if we are not extremely careful.

WashingtonExec:  For example, do you have a banking app on your phone?  I have one, should I delete it?

Bob Gourley: I do not and I’m not sure that I ever will.  If I do have a banking app it will be for one account where I don’t have much money and much of an exposure to it. I can already say there is a risk there. Questions you should ask yourself: did that app collect any information on your location? Since it is your bank if you use your bankcard at that grocery store will they know what you buy? There are big data solutions that could actually get a little bit creepy.  That’s the kind of thing that I think we as citizens need to think through and as a society need to figure out how we are going to deal with this.

WashingtonExec:  How do you see big data in things like predictive analytics changing the way the IT community operates?  Do you think this is a major trend?

Bob Gourley: What is that next big thing?  Guys in my community were talking about cloud computing a decade ago.  We were talking about big data four years ago.  What are we talking about right now because it is going to be widespread in the next couple of years?  I’m not exactly sure, my crystal ball doesn’t always work but I think the next thing after big data is big analysis.  That remains to be seen of course but the point I’m trying to make is that this is not the end of history, things will continue.

WashingtonExec:  What is your Twitter bio?

Bob Gourley: My Twitter bio is extremely short.  I say that I’m a CTO.  I then go on to say where you can find me – you can find me at CTOVision.  I also say that national security, cyber security, enterprise IT and technology are key topics of interest.  That’s kind of me in a Twitter nutshell.

WashingtonExec:  What is something most people might not know about you?

Bob Gourley: Most people probably don’t know that I was a bartender all through college and that’s where I learned how important it is to connect with people.

WashingtonExec:  What is your favorite application?  What application do you find most useful on your phone or on your tablet?

Bob Gourley: Chrome is the best application in the world.  With Chrome you can do anything; it connects you to the web and it can help you find any application that you need.

WashingtonExec: What made you want to start the big data solutions awards? How can people apply?

Bob Gourley: This is an annual award.  It’s been around two years and it is designed to highlight the successes of government organizations in big data solutions.  The key point is we think by highlighting the successes we can share their lessons learned with others across government.  It is so easy to apply.  You just go to CTOVision.com and there is a nomination form.  We would definitely appreciate hearing from anybody who has a nomination to make there.

This post by was first published at CTOvision.com.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...