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It is 17th May, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day. The objective of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.
World telecommunication and information society day

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The main goal of World Telecommunications Day (WTD) is to highlight the importance of communication and how information travels across the world. It also aims to increase awareness of how crucial communication is in our lives, and stimulate the development of technologies in the field. The World Telecommunications Day is in tight connections with the International Telegraph Union (ITU), the committee formed in 1865 to support the emerging communication methods of the time. ITU was present throughout all the great breakthroughs in communication – the invention of the telephone in 1876, the launch of the first satellite in 1957 and, ultimately, the birth of the Internet in the 60s. Even though The International Telegraph Union has since changed its name to International Telecommunications Union, it still remains the most important entity in the field of communications, thus remaining in the spotlight at World Telecommunications Day. This day was first celebrated in 1969.

The theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2017 (WTISD-17), "Big Data for Big Impact".

The theme for World Telecommunication and Information Society Day 2017 (WTISD-17), “Big Data for Big Impact,” focuses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context. The insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly complement the evidence-based nature of decision-making that can be leveraged at national, regional and international levels to drive success towards attaining all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The theme for WTISD-17 is in line with ITU’s work highlighting the technological developments that have facilitated the emergence of Big Data, developing standards related to Big Data and identifying sources and uses of Big Data, including use of Big Data technologies for developing and monitoring improvements in information societies.


big data for big impact

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What is BIG DATA?

Big Data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that they are difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. Challenges include analysis, capture, curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualisation, and information privacy. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much, that 90% of data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. When data sets get so big that they cannot be analysed by traditional data processing application tools, it becomes known as ‘Big Data’. “Companies in all industries will strive to collect, interpret, and capitalize on vast amounts of new data. ‘Big data’ will be harnessed to understand consumers, improve healthcare, and cut firms’ energy bills.”

The big data revolution is not just a story of Silicon Valley. It represents a major shift in the way business is done globally. Developing nations with fewer deeply entrenched legacy systems to overhaul can take advantage of this moment. Data and analytics could provide an injection of transparency and efficiency that spurs commerce, builds more inclusive economies, and makes government services more effective. The age of analytics is already beginning to unleash creative destruction—and that may open the door for young, tech-savvy companies from anywhere in the world to propel themselves into the ranks of the new global giants.


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