Digital Trends for Libraries: Big Data Going Personal

…Part of our series on Digital Trends for Libraries in 2016.

Sven Totté, Director for Business Area Public Library, Axiell:

Big Data will offer tremendous opportunities in very different areas like trimming marketing campaigns, better forecasts in all possible areas and smarter estimations of infrastructure needs. In all this we will see a higher level of concern regarding privacy.

The general idea is to open up data from all possible services, especially public, but at the same time exclude identifiable individual personal information. This data is to be “mashable” in between sources and, in an instant, present outcomes and predictions on all kind of levels; from the drill-down research experience, to the easy to understand dashboard view for the amateur interest.

Libraries can support enhanced experiences and personal integrity. Anonymised data can be used for: statistical analysis, smarter ranking of search results, better taxonomies, smarter acquisitions, supporting literacy efforts, historic data graphs, enriching the personal experience (for those accepting saved personal data) and so on. Working in this way, open data also holds huge potential to add the knowledge of the many, with well-structured crowd sourcing.

The concept of open systems and open data will be in place in modern systems. Intelligent web services will be developed to interact with other services, both public and commercial. The services and therefore the data will be available for any kind of usage; be it in a hacker convention, a research project, to illustrate a political point or in agreed commercial use. The other way around is applicable as well, with library management able to access external data relevant for making strategic decisions.

By developing the meta-data; the meta-data structures, web services and dashboards the libraries and librarians use can contribute to the whole Archive, Libraries and Museums field and externally support in preparing and changing the future.

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