Last weekend, The New York Times ran an interesting article about big data’s impact on the world. If you didn’t already think big data was cool, you will after reading this article. We also look at recent product updates and the important role metadata plays in the government.

Age of Big Data

On February 11, The New York Times ran a feature article called The Age of Big Data. “Welcome to the Age of Big Data,” the article says. “The new megarich of Silicon Valley, first at Google and now Facebook, are masters at harnessing the data of the Web -- online searches, posts and messages -- with Internet advertising.”

Not only does the article explain the concept of big data, it also examines the tools for harnessing data and the predictive potential it holds. For example, the article explains, “Researchers have found a spike in Google search requests for terms like 'flu symptoms' and “'lu treatments' a couple of weeks before there is an increase in flu patients coming to hospital emergency rooms in a region (and emergency room reports usually lag behind visits by two weeks or so).”

CoreSource for SAGE

SAGE, an independent academic publisher of journals, books and electronic media, chose Ingram Content Group's CoreSource for the distribution and management of its e-book and print-book files. CoreSource is an online solution for storing, managing and distributing digital content.

Metadata in the Government

In his commentary, Good metadata means good government, Michael Daconta, former metadata program manager for the Homeland Security Department, explains that the key to metadata design is developing the best descriptive fields that increase the usage value of the data to the end user. “These types of fields can be discovered by asking questions such as ‘How do our users get value out of our data?’ and then walking backward from those answers to the fields that best distinguish the good from the bad (or the proverbial wheat from the chaff),” he says. Daconta is also the author of the Information As Product book.

Dassault Systèmes Acquires Netvibes

French software company Dassault Systèmes acquired Netvibes, a social web analytics platform provider. “If you like Netvibes, you will love the new Netvibes,” says Netvibes CEO Freddy Mini. “Our brand, business, website and team will stay. What will change is that all our products will innovate even faster thanks to our deep relationship with Dassault Systèmes.”

Picturepark 8.2 Announced

Almost a month after announcing version 8.1.9, Picturepark announced the 8.2 release of the company’s DAM solution. According to the announcement, the latest version comes with enhanced support for creative processes and integration into Adobe Creative Suite.