Last week Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, joined by key representatives from MIT and Intel Corporation, announced the “Massachusetts Big Data Initiative,” a collaborative effort to position the Bay State as a global center for the big data industry. Big data refers to the business of dissecting and analyzing the enormous stream of digital information generated everyday by consumers working, shopping or socializing online.
This announcement, paired with the Governor’s focus on expanding both the Massachusetts renewable energy and robotics industries, bodes well for our state’s economic recovery, and it could provide a model for other states to follow.

According to a recent report from the Mass Technology Leadership Council (MassTLC), 120+ Boston-area companies are currently working with big data technologies and those firms employ about 12,000 people in the Bay State alone. MassTLC estimates that an additional 58,000 related workers, including data scientists and data managers, are working in such industries as healthcare, online media and financial services. Most importantly, MassTLC estimates that growth in both areas could add 50,000 jobs by 2018.

We applaud the efforts of industry leaders such as MIT and Intel Corporation, other big data innovators, such as Endeca (recently acquired by Oracle), and smaller companies that include Tokutek and Hadapt.

Bring on the big data—we’re ready for the next technology chapter in and around the Massachusetts Route 128 belt.

Barbara Call is director of content for Greenough.