How Big Data could affect libraries

Posted by Justin Hesser on June 6, 2013

Several weeks ago, the U.S. government announced that it was launching an open source data management system, designed to comply with the open data policy executive order that President Barack Obama signed at the beginning of May.

The government released a statement that said it would also be releasing tools to assist agencies in implementing the open data policy. Many companies must take large amounts of data and put it in an orderly fashion to use it properly. Libraries are one such institution, and the new Big Data policy is being met with positive feedback thus far.

Debbie Rabina, an associate professor who teaches government information courses in Pratt Institute's library science program, told the Library Journal that the memo was well-received by the library community. According to Rabina, many of the challenges librarians face can be traced back to the large amounts of information they manage.

"Concerns about managing privacy were addressed directly, my concerns are more in the areas of expertise for access and collection management," she said. "The kind of expertise needed to manage data [is] just beginning to emerge from within our ranks. I would like to see LIS education graduate students who have not only the technological skills, but, more important, the policy perspective that views data as a collection."

Organizations that need to be able to sift through and manage a large amount of information can greatly benefit from a custom database software system. FileMaker development can be a key resource to assist companies in being able to collect data and use it in a way that is efficient and reliable.