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Big data

The power of unlocking data

Mona Vernon  Chief Technology Officer, Thomson Reuters Labs

Mona Vernon  Chief Technology Officer, Thomson Reuters Labs

Our world is awash in data, but we can't be overwhelmed by its volume and omnipresence. Data and new ways of using it will help us solve the problems of tomorrow.

A recent study from the McKinsey Global Institute found that 90 percent of all digital data has been created within the last two years, yet only 1 percent has been analyzed. That sheer volume of material illustrates the challenge inherent in pulling together, storing and extracting insights from all the data we now have at our fingertips.

It’s a challenge worth working at, though, because within that sea of data lie answers to the problems we’ll be facing tomorrow.

How data unlocks value

I’m passionate about exploring how data can unlock value. One of the privileges of sitting where I do is I get a global perspective on opportunities arising from digitization and new data. I also get a firsthand look at growth in what can be done with that data, including analytics and artificial intelligence.

For example, some recent ways in which we’ve put data to use include:

  • Helping municipalities track, forecast and fund community growth: More than 70 percent of local government revenue comes from property tax. For some jurisdictions, the taxes and property values they manage are greater than many countries’ gross domestic product. Through this lens, sound and transparent data management is truly vital.
  • Validating breaking news: Our Reuters News Tracer uses information to help journalists validate whether breaking news is real or fake – a mission that’s become all the more vital as we learn more and more about the ways in which truth and accuracy are being diluted in public discourse.
A man uses a calculator near a computer screen showing a stock graph in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
A man uses a calculator near a computer screen showing a stock graph in this illustration photo taken in Bordeaux, France, March 31, 2016. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The importance of innovation

At Thomson Reuters, we believe innovation and exploration will help us overcome the obstacles of the future – both ours and those of our customers. To that end, we have seven global innovation labs that work closely with customers, startups and universities.

In those labs, we are developing new solutions and using data science so we can capitalize on technology’s biggest developments. Today, we’re working to unleash the power of big data and visualizing it in new ways to help our customers make valuable use of that information. We also are working closely with partners in the public and private sector to make certain we remain good stewards of that data.

Learn more

Visit Innovation @ ThomsonReuters.com for more on how we bring together smart data and human expertise to find trusted answers.

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