Big Data, Open Data, Smart Data and Cloud Computing in health

Le Mag Article | 07 Oct 2014
We are currently witnessing an explosion in the production of data, especially in the healthcare sector. All of this content is accumulated and must be stored and analysed: Big Data, Open Data, Smart Data and Cloud Computing in healthcare ... Here is a decryption.

Big Data

It is difficult to escape Big Data in the current situation where the total amount of digital data generated and stored is growing exponentially, reaching several  ZetaOctet (1021 bytes).

The term Big Data Data encompasses all large digital data (Internet, RFID, mobile) which can no longer be treated with conventional database management tools. This massive data is much less structured than traditional data. Thus, raw data directly derived from the activity or the opinion of a user provides information to better understand his/her behaviour. It is the role of data scientists to interpret the data, combine it, put it into perspective and suggest clear interpretation to policymakers. By analysing tweets, for example, one can learn the most popular topics in certain programmes.


Open Data

Open Data Data is the term for the free sharing of data put online in open formats, allowing the reuse and free access by anyone. This is a set of digital data of public or private origin. It can be produced by a particular community, a public service or a company. The opening of this data represents a movement, an information-access philosophy and a practice of publication of freely accessible and usable data.

Further information on open data in healthcare (reports in french):

Smart Data

The flood of data faced by citizens and the business community will lead to the development of new services and the creation of new values. Thus, these data sets, originally of little use and relevance, will be treated and recycled to become Smart Data and finally be useful for decision making. They will enable the design and implementation of digital marketing strategies and more efficient and effective CRM (ROI).

See also in French “Infographic, how to go from Big Data to Smart Data”:


Cloud Computing


In France, the  Commission générale de terminologie et de néologie declares that this is a particular form of computing management, in which the placement and function in the cloud are not reported to the client.

Cloud Computing, usually abbreviated to Cloud, is a set of processes that are based on the use of the computing and / or storage power of remote computer servers over a network, usually the Internet. Cloud computing is characterised by its flexibility of use: according to the skill level of the client-user, it is possible to manage one's own server or just use remote applications in SaaS mode. As defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Cloud Computing is a computing model that allows easy and on-demand access through the network to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (servers, storage, applications and services) that can be rapidly previewed and released with minimal management or interaction effort with the service provider.

Cloud Computing is thus usually defined by these five characteristics: on-demand user access to services; broadband network access; pool of resources (not localised); flexibility, which means that the user has access to as many resources as necessary (fast resizing); and finally usage billing.

See also Service of tomorrow of the Mag N°10 "Decryption: Health Big Data"