Letter to the Editor

By: Tim Young

“Knowledge is of no value
unless you put it into practice.”

-Anton Chekhov*

*this may or may not have been Chekhov.

I don’t read or speak Russian. I’ve read “The Seagull,” “The Cherry Orchard,” “Uncle Vanya” and a few other of his more well-known works, but my knowledge is necessarily limited. So for a quote like this one—one with no clearly cited literary origin—I’m at the mercy of the internet and its notoriously dubious ability to crowdsource the origin of any supposed quote.

With any research, I’m reminded of that quote by (probably) John Allen Paulos that the internet is “the world's largest library. It's just that all the books are on the floor." It’s difficult to wade through streams of information of dubious accuracy to find any single piece of information that’s definitively accurate. “Real news” is crowded out by “fake news.” Facts are crowded out by noise. Analysis is difficult based on the sheer volume of information and the lack of criteria for separating the facts from the noise.

This is just one, little human-sized example of the very large issues of data analytics. Even with a world full of information, finding a clear answer is difficult and time-consuming. And if that’s true for one pithy quote about knowledge, it’s exponentially more true for CSPs attempting to harness vast quantities of data in order to build better networks, please customers, identify fraud, among many other business goals.

But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And tools and strategies abound to harness data and use it well.

In this issue of Pipeline, we explore big data and analytics, IoT analytics, as well as the potential of AI, examining the right way to handle data lakes, as well as the advertising potential of big data. We talk about how the era of digital transformation brings both challenges and promise for the world of data analysis, and we look at analytics for SDN and check out ways to increase data visibility. On top of all that, we bring you news from on the ground at MWC Americas 2017 and lots more news and opinion from around the industry.

Enjoy! There’s plenty of useful knowledge to be had.

-Tim Young


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