Big Data: A Twenty-First Century Arms Race

We are living in a world awash in data. Accelerated interconnectivity, driven by the proliferation of internet-connected devices, has led to an explosion of data—big data. A race is now underway to develop new technologies and implement innovative methods that can handle the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of big data and apply it smartly to provide decisive advantage and help solve major challenges facing companies and governments.

For policy makers in government, big data and associated technologies like machine-learning and artificial Intelligence, have the potential to drastically improve their decision-making capabilities. How governments use big data may be a key factor in improved economic performance and national security. This publication looks at how big data can maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of government and business, while minimizing modern risks. Five authors explore big data across three cross-cutting issues: security, finance, and law.

This event consisted of three panels and brought together experts from the public, private, and academic sectors to discuss this increasingly important field. Panelists included: Miren Aparicio, Erica Briscoe, Mary Ellen Callahan, Benjamin Dean, Leslie Ireland, Bart van Liebergen Channing May, Robert Schuaki, and Juan Zarate. Moderators: Mathew Burrows, Todd Rosenblum, and Joel Schectman. 

Image: The second panel called “Big Data: The Latest Tool in Fighting Crime” discussed how big data can be leveraged to help mitigate and prevent criminal activities. Panel held at the Atlantic Council on June 27, 2017. (left to right) Todd Rosenblum, Channing May, Robert Schukai, and Juan Zarate.