Big data

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Big data market and emerging technologies in Japan

(Updated on December 17, 2014)

Market trends

global data

The term “big data,” which started to draw attention around 2011, has no common definition but is generally considered to mean an aggregate data so massive that it is nearly impossible to be accumulated or analyzed by conventional data-processing technologies. Big data has three features: volume, variety, and velocity. It refers to data that contribute to business operations and is seen to include not only structured data but also unstructured data. Specific examples include messages posted on social media such as Twitter and data achieved from various sensors. Japan is one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to the amount of data possessed and these data are regarded as an important resource. The “Japan Revitalization Strategy” established by the Abe Cabinet encourages active utilization of big data. The “Directions on Institutional Revision for Protection and Utilization of Personal Data” was approved to create a suitable environment for its utilization. An investigation conducted on IT departments of companies revealed that less than 10 percent of the companies are utilizing big data. Although many companies are paying particular attention to big data, many issues surround it. Companies cannot find answers to questions such as, “What exactly should we do?” “Where can we find any personnel who can deal with it?” and, “Where can we get data from?”

Some business ventures in Japan have managed to develop technologies for utilizing big data and are providing solutions to resolve the issues mentioned above. Moreover, further utilization of big data is believed to have the ability to deliver added value on the scale of 10 trillion yen and reduce social costs by 12 trillion to 15 trillion yen, according to the ICT Basic Strategy Board of the Information and Communications Council within the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Areas where big data can play a role

    • Marketing / Advertising
    • Operations analysis
    • Healthcare / Medical treatment
    • Crime prevention / Security
    • Efficient operation of social infrastructure
    • Smart meter analytics / Energy management
    • Alleviation of traffic congestion

And many more…

Emerging technologies in Japan

A high-tech start-up in Japan is developing a memory-type processor that can be applied to big data analysis and DNA analysis. This processor has the ability to search at 1P (peta) operations per watt-second, whereas ordinary CPUs operate at around 1G (giga) operations per watt-second. It can also search TB (terabyte) data at a nano-second to micro-second order without index. This company received the IEEE Best Paper Award in 2012 and was granted approximately 200 million yen as a subsidy from the Japanese governmental agency in 2013.

Another Japanese emerging company offers a data analysis application that can easily be used in the cloud. Analyses can be performed for hypothesis verification and measuring effectiveness of marketing measures such as Internet advertisements and television commercials. Higher accuracy is achieved by using complicated methods of statistical analysis, but such expertise cannot be easily achieved. This company has developed a cloud tool that enables even beginners to easily perform statistical analysis, which allows a company’s marketing manager to analyze the relationship between multiple data and develop a more effective marketing strategy.



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