Missoula Business Leaders Host "Big Data Week" - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Missoula Business Leaders Host "Big Data Week"

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MISSOULA - Missoula is fast becoming a leading city for the study and use of big data.

This week, local technology business leaders and educators joined forces for "Big Data Week", an event also taking place in more than 30 major cities all over the world.

The Director of IT at UM's School of Business, Eric Tangedahl, said the definition of big data is simple: "It's just trying to deal with newer and larger sets of data."

The types of big data span across nearly every industry. For example, experts say 80% of hospitals across the U.S. now use electronic health records that are often stored on a cloud-based system.

"So, you hear it in healthcare, in energy and of course, business, math computer science," Tangedahl said.

The problem, Tangedahl said, is trying to manage it. He said for the most part, software to manage big data doesn't exist yet.
 
"So, it's a lot of programming, statistics, and kind of nuts and bolts of figuring out how we're going to solve these problems," he explained.

That's why experts from UM, LMG Security, Data Smart Solutions, and other Missoula-based tech companies convened for Big Data Week.

Tangedahl said, "It's a lot of people with similar problems on how they're trying to tackle these large data sets."

Tech leaders at UM and other Missoula entities have been developing big data and cyber security programs over just the past two years.

"Just a smaller city that has a very high-tech presence."

Tangedahl said learning how to properly manage big data from leading experts in the high-tech field will also help provide jobs for Montanans.

"The more information we have about that, the better opportunities we have to provide those classes, and you know, get those students jobs that they're looking for," Tangedahl said.

Big Data Week continues on Friday with presentations at MonTEC on East Broadway from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

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