Jim Kaskade: Can Big Data Save Them?

Presentation (9:02) Data and analytics is a means to an end. Jim highlights a new revolution of analytic applications with some touching examples in the healthcare industry with cancer research and medication therapy management.


Jim Kaskade: Thank you, thank you. Thank you, for letting me spend this time with you. I wanted to first recognize the incredible job that the O'Reilly team has done with this conference. This is by far the best conference in our industry. Let's give a round of applause.


Jim: I'm Jim Kaskade and I am the CEO of Infochimps. It's a CSC company. We're a 15 billion dollar leader in IT solutions. And what I wanted to ask you to do first is just introduce yourselves to the people on either side of you. Take a few minutes, shake hands, and as you're doing that, I wanted to make a couple points. It's hard to believe that one out of every three people have had a direct experience with cancer in their family. Just like you or one of the two people you just introduced yourselves to.

It's hard to believe that cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, second only to heart disease. It contributes to about one in every four deaths. I wanted to tell a story with the hope of making Big Data personal. The lady second from the right is Dr. Jamieson. She's a world-known hematologist stem cell researcher for the Moores Cancer Research Center. The lady to her left is my mom, and she's dying. She has chronic leukemia, it's a blood cancer, and she's outlived her life expectancy. She fights for her life every day. The other two people, Randy and Olivia, are also leukemia patients, and they fight for their lives every day. I'm going to change my story a little bit because I just got off the phone with my mom before I came up on the stage. She wished me luck and happy birthday. It's my birthday today.


Jim: Thank you. She asked a really interesting question. She said, "Honey, what is it that you do?" And I thought my Gartner response, upper right-hand quadrant. You know, we're a big data cloud with sophisticated analytics, real-time to batch, and I stopped myself and I said real simply, "We use data to solve really hard problems like cancer, Mom." And she said, "Wow, that's really easy to understand." I'm thinking, yeah, it's much easier to explain [inaudible 00:02:47]

So then she said, "When?" I'm like, "When, what?" "When are you going to cure cancer?" That was a tough question. "I had to say, soon. Soon, Mom." This is Evan Thornton. He's a 10-year-old. He was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. It's a primary bone cancer. Cancer is the second most common cause of death for children, second to accidents. Some of you familiar with the space know that there are 200 cancers, 200 types of cancer. In 2012, our US population grew for about two million. It's hard to believe that the various types of cancer could offset that in 2013.

So why am I telling you this personal story? Why am I giving you the statistics? What if I told you that the brain trust in this room alone could advance cancer therapy more than in a year than the last three decades? Would you believe me? Well, you should, because it's true. This is Dr. Björn Brücher. He's a devoted medical director of surgical oncology and cancer research at the Bon. Secours Cancer Institute in Virginia. Dr. Brücher is passionate like we are about the idea of using Big Data to solve big problems. In this picture, he's operating on a 33-year-old female, a wife and a mother of three beautiful children, suffering from stomach cancer. Dr. Brücher sees death every single day. It's Dr. Brücher and our belief that we can help people like this mom, that we can help them by predicting individual outcomes and then proactively applying preventative measures, and possibly giving them normal lifespans. Dr. Brücher is here in the audience today. Dr. Brücher, could you please stand up?


Jim: Thank you for joining us, and thank you for being so passionate. So, where does Big Data fit into all this? Well, I argue it starts with the application. So, stop building your Big Data sandboxes. Stop building your Big Data stacks. Stop building your Big Data dupe clusters without a purpose. If you start with the application, the business problem, the use case, you have a purpose. You have focus. You narrow the scope of your technology's choices, and most importantly, you accelerate time to value. Fifty percent of Big Data projects fail. So, don't listen to me. Build your boil the ocean Big Data project in 24 months. Don't come crying to us when you have nothing to show.

I had a prominent CIO Fortune 100 company ask me, "Jim, what Big Data projects do you have in your Big Data reference design?" And I turned to him and I said, "What problem are you solving?" So, maybe you're listening. You're saying, "Yes, Jim I have a use case. What next?" I'll argue, it's very simple. You're probably a global 200 company that's only used 15 percent of your data assets. So, let's expand that to 100 percent of your internal data assets. Let's add another 100 percent of external data assets. Plenty of sources of data.

So, then we have the use case, we have a thesis on the data that we can add to the problem. You can always add more data to the problem. Then you can take your Big Data platform, you technology, apply it, data and analytics, to solve your problem. It's a beautiful thing. The web scale companies of Silicon Valley, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, they've all handed us scalable Big Data technology, open-sourced, and capable of executing on top of cloud resources. This doesn't disrupt time. It doesn't get any better.

So, if you're in the C suite, I know you're challenged. I know that you have a lot of unanswered questions. You have problems that haven't been addressed. You're limited by your data infrastructure. I give you a call to action. Take that one use case, supercharge it with Big Data and analytics. We can take and give you the best comprehensive Big Data solutions, we can put it on the Cloud, and for some of you, we can give you answers in less than 30 days. What if you could contribute to the cure of cancer? Thank you.