Jeff Jonas Video on How Data Makes Corporations Dumb

Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM (s IBM) Entity Analytics Group and an IBM Distinguished Engineer, thinks the world has a big problem with big data and that problem is only going to get bigger. Jonas arrived at IBM after the Big Blue bought his 19-year-old company, Systems Research in January 2005. Jonas & SRD helped develop a surveillance intelligence system for Las Vegas casinos that took in reams of data to identify card counters, including the MIT grads who were made famous by best-selling book Bringing Down The House. In 2001, In-Q-Tel invested in the company and helped SRD work closely with the Central Intelligence Agency on many matters of national security.  A triathlete and a frequent Iron Man contestant, Jonas is one of the foremost authorities on data systems.

Unlike most scientists, Jonas deals with realities of modern enterprises.  He recently stopped by at our offices to discuss the data tsunami that is hitting the corporate world.  We see him as a kindred spirit. Whether it is writing about the rise of sensor nets or webscale databases, big data is an area of focus for us.


“Information is being created faster than organizations can make sense of it,” he says. The gap between the growth of information and understanding is widening because the tools for understanding are not scaling as fast as the growth in data and information.  “As computers are getting faster and the world is getting more sensors, the organizations have been getting dumber,” he said. “The percentage of what is knowable is on a decline.”

“The future doesn’t look like Tom Cruise in The Minority Report at all,” he said in the video conversation, that was produced & edited by Chris Albrecht. “The actual future is where data finds data and relevance finds the consumer.”  He talks about what we can learn from casinos and why he hates the idea of batch processing. Jonas also talks about how the big data problem is going to overrun the web as well.

Hope you enjoy the video!

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