Google recently hosted a policy colloquium in Mountain View, titled "Empowering Data-driven Innovation." The RSVP list included the United Nations, White House, and Census Bureau; scholars like UC Berkeley's Marti Hearst; and representatives from companies such as Salesforce and General Electric.
""Big Data" looks set to become one of this year's big business trends, and to our delight, Europe is taking a new, positive view on this long overlooked resource," writes Patricia Wruuck, Policy Analyst, Google Brussels.
Adding, "A decade ago, researchers estimated that around five exabytes of data was produced each year. Today, more than five exabytes of data were stored online every day."
"We recently announced that 60 hours of video is uploaded each minute on YouTube and Facebook users generated an average of 3.2 billion Likes and Comments per day during the first quarter of 2012," Wruuck writes.
"At Google, we use data to test new services and algorithms. At any one time, we're running 100-200 experiments, analyzing patterns in the results and seeing which versions produce the best feedback," Wruuck said. "Our own chief economist Hal Varian has predicted that the skills needed to make sense of this data will turn the job of a statistician into something sexy."
During his recent visit to Brussels, executive chairman Eric Schmidt recounted how the Germany's federal labour agency managed to save about EUR10 billion - all while speeding up placing people in jobs. Data based innovation similarly can help address societal problems, reducing, for example, traffic congestion and emissions through providing real-time traffic information.
From Fusion Tables and Public Data Explorer to Flu Trends and Translate, Google's data innovations and initiatives have produced robust tools for making sense of data.