Can even the most complex international systems manage massive data stockpiles without frying their mainframes? Defense giant Lockheed is betting on it. The reason for their optimism is defined by what has made Lockheed a winner for decades – focus on individual issues, compartmentalize problems and focus, focus, focus.
Sure, there will always be massive social media networks out there treating data like commercial fishing: toss out the biggest net you have and catch EVERYTHING. But that’s not everybody. Most companies work best in the world of Big Data Analysis when they FOCUS on task or operation specific data analysis. Fortunately, focused data analysis capabilities are growing by leaps and bounds at, dare we say it, an exponential rate. (No, not literally).
Not that focus makes data science innovation any easier. Take, for example, Lockheed Martin. While the defense contractor specializes in blowing our minds and staying a step ahead of everyone else, they also routinely deal with glacially moving government agencies and bureaucratic red tape. It’s quantum computing meets backdoor deals and committee votes Every Single Day.
For Lockheed, that means finding a way to funnel the flow of Big Data, managing a flow you can’t ever really stop. The concept is similar to managing a river using locks and dams. You want to exploit the energy created, to harness it and manage it for established purposes. However, you can’t necessarily corral it completely. Big Data is similar; you can’t stop the flow, and you can’t always analyze and implement what you have on the same timetable as you manage other aspects of your business.
You need a stopgap, a lock system, per se, something that can manage the flow when other systems are overwhelmed. This requires innovations in scalability, data transfer and safe storage – for systems that can’t EVER go offline. Not an easy task. But inventing the impossible is what Lockheed has always been about. Big Data is the most recent tool in their arsenal.
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