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Innovation Needs Information

By Steve Jones,

We are great about sharing knowledge in the technical community. I think the SQL Server community is even better than most technologies as we do a good job of doing so without the rude RTFM that I find in other communities. However, overall we share lots of information with others. I do know that many other communities are catching up and I really appreciate the answers I've gotten from others when trying to repair my tractor or auto.

As the world looks to bring innovative solutions to various problems, it seems that machine learning will play some role. There are some amazing advances taking place in all sorts of areas, and certainly no shortage of organizations that are trying to see if ML enhancements will improve their capabilities. We hear about ML all the time as data professionals, and some of you are starting to try and use these algorithms to build new applications.

I ran across a great post about innovation that notes that the fuel for ML and related technologies is data. It's important for training and evaluating systems, and there are companies making a lot of money providing training data. However, there is also lots of data inside companies, especially some of the big social media and communication companies that gives them an advantage. I think that's OK, after all, these companies have innovated to build large scale enterprises and devoted resources to collecting data.

However, I do think that more and more data is needed, and companies will work to collect it if they can. That means more and more of us will manage additional data, all of which needs to be cleansed, stored, managed, and protected. More work for us, but also lots of opportunity. Especially if you learn how to process data in new ways.

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