Bill Schmarzo, chief technology officer at EMC, recently sat down with Jeff Frick at EMC World 2014. Known as the Dean of Big Data, Schmarzo works with businesses to try and take advantage of the massive amounts of data hidden within their organizations.
Most of the time these companies and organizations have no idea how much detail they have, according to Schmarzo. Such collections of information are known as Big Data because of its large and complex nature, making it hard to process using standard database management tools. Usually, Big Data requires specialized programs to help make sense of it all.
Schmarzo’s favorite project at the moment is one called Netflix for Teachers, where a school district in Texas is building a program that allows teachers to evaluate which students need the most help, allowing them to focus their efforts in those areas. The program delivers the recommendations on which lessons students who need help should go through. This, in turn, helps reduce the teacher’s administrative workload, allowing them to focus more on teaching. In the same way that such a program can help teachers identify problem areas, so can school principals identify teachers who need help, or are even teaching the wrong class.