Internationally recognized for his work in statistical science, Dr. Sastry Pantula held his discussion, “Big Data and Big Promises” in the John M. Pfau Library Multimedia Center on April 16.
Dr. Pantula, also the Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at CSUSB, discussed the expanding discoveries, opportunities and concerns of Big Data, which are intense amounts of collected data utilized each and every day.
Moreover, he shared the increasing opportunities that are offered because of the big data dynamic as Big Data are finding its way into the industries of science, education, business, security and healthcare. As he called to mind the rising jobs—nationally and internationally—that require an advanced set of skills in mathematics, statistics and data analysis, he encouraged the audience to embrace their “inner nerd” and be mindful of career opportunities.
Aiming to share his truths about big data, Pantula wanted to remind students of the concerns behind these massive amounts of information. While society appreciates and develops due to these grand amounts of information, it is still very significant to understand and pay attention to data abuse or manipulation.
He shared that data itself cannot be misleading, however, how they are used and presented can take place within numerous misleading situations.
As he encouraged students and faculty to remember how valuable their credibility is, he stated, “If you lose that trust, it’s hard to build it back.”
Pantula offered his advice that when working with data—big or small—to treat it like people. Working ethically and responsibly with big data will ensure success in a job or mission to avoid scandals or mistakes.
Additionally, he reminded the audience that the sharing of data takes place just about anywhere and everywhere. From selfies to social network check-ins, to published flight patterns, and so much more. Pantula also shared the concern about unintentionally violating the privacy of others as various amounts of people in the background of photos that are published on social accounts have no idea that they are captured for many to see.
Despite the concerns and potential danger big data offers, Pantula highlighted the success behind it and the contribution to our society every day. Speaking on its velocity, variety and volume, he shared the helpful ways data is changing our everyday lives.
In the medical field, Pantula claimed the promises that are made as computers are already outperforming doctors in various techniques. Furthermore, combatting influenza becomes easier with big data.
The educational sector makes great use of big data as well. Pantula mentioned the colleges collecting data to better serve their students and even shared how CSUSB aims to understand how student success becomes possible when working with housing, meals, classes, graduation, etc.
Big data and their big promises have made way today and will do so tomorrow. The responsibility of the people to navigate how and where big data is utilized is heavy. However, it is vital to create and maintain an advanced culture within the sectors of science, education, business, security, healthcare and more.