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Majority of big data is 'worthless', says Oracle’s Mark Hurd

27 Apr 2012

Oracle is throwing its weight behind the two hottest trends in the IT market, big data and cloud computing, but that did not stop president Mark Hurd from acknowledging that the vast majority of data collected through these new systems is “worthless”.

V3 had the chance to catch up with Hurd during a visit to London on Friday, where he talked through Oracle’s plans for both cloud and big data markets.

“[With big data], the opportunity exists to get a different level of atomic data that can affect a different type of business outcome,” Hurd said.

He gave the example of sensors being attached to all the different moving parts on an oil rig.

Information from these sensors could then be analysed against a set of key performance indicators to detect in advance any potential problems and help avoid accidents on rigs.

But he added that 99.9 per cent of this data could be “worthless”.

“The bulk of the data isn’t necessarily valuable to you, but there’s something that is,” Hurd said.

“Big data is going to be interrelated to analytics [to let firms] make a great decision at a very specific point in time that makes a dramatic change in the outcome.”

On the cloud side, the firm will have an official launch for Oracle Secure Cloud in the summer, Hurd said. Currently there are hundreds of early adopter customers testing out the technology.

The idea of the Secure Cloud is that it will offer the same openness and elasticity of traditional cloud offerings, but will reportedly sit behind a company firewall.

At its OpenWorld show in October last year, Larry Ellison took to the stage to launch Oracle Public Cloud, which sounds very similar to the brief description Hurd gave of Secure Cloud.

However, Hurd did not elaborate on whether the two are versions of the same technology.

V3 will be posting a full interview with Hurd next week.

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

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