Initiative to grow Big Data sector

Jobs minister Richard Bruton has established a joint industry/government ‘task force’ charged with developing the rapidly growing Big Data sector in Ireland.

Big Data — which is about converting large amounts of raw data into information via the use of statistical techniques and advanced software — is a sector showing 40% annual growth globally.

The sector is expected to generate about 4.4m jobs worldwide over the next year.

Addressing delegates at a conference looking at the benefits of Big Data to SMEs; jointly hosted by Enterprise Ireland and tech giant EMC; Mr Bruton said one of the task force’s first actions will be to identify and develop two Big Data pilot projects within the public service.

Comprising Google Ireland head, John Herlihy; Heather Reynolds of contact centre company, Eishtec; Bill McCluggage of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, and Liam Casey of supply chain management firm, PCH International, — the committee will have the power to co-opt additional members from both the public and private sectors; and will first meet next month.

“A key part of the Government’s plan for growth and jobs is identifying areas where we believe Ireland has distinct advantages compared to other countries, and taking steps necessary to ensure that we realise our potential for employment in those areas.” Mr Bruton said.

“Data Analytics is one such sector, and the Government believes that between our climate, skills base, and existing strengths in ICT, we have the potential to reap substantial benefits in terms of jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector.”

This isn’t the first time this year that Mr Bruton has waxed lyrical about the benefits of Big Data.

In March, he presided over the unveiling of plans for a €1m industry-led research centre aimed at making Ireland a world leader in the area of data analytics.

With input coming from the likes of HP, Dell, eBay, Fidelity Investments, and Accenture; the centre will focus on developing ways of generating business, profits, and jobs from the area of analysing online data.

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