ISO issues latest standards for big data reference architecture

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The world is literally drowning in data. So much so that collecting, storing, processing and using it makes up a USD 70.5 billion industry that will more than triple by 2027. While this rapid growth is nothing new, the avalanche of technologies required is constantly changing, and in some cases failing to keep up, creating inconsistencies and disorder that could lead to unnecessary problems. 

To clear up any confusion and provide a stable base to address the challenges and opportunities of big data, a comprehensive range of standards and technical reports has just been published. The five-part ISO/IEC 20547 series provides a big data reference architecture (BDRA) and framework which organizations can use to effectively and consistently describe their architecture and its implementations.

When used correctly, big data can help organizations make important strategic decisions, save time and resources, and better understand market trends and client needs. It can unlock valuable insights that lead to new inventions and solutions in a variety of areas, such as road traffic congestion, medical diagnoses and treatments, food safety and more.

Wael William Diab, Chair of one of the two ISO/IEC committees that developed the standards, said:

“At the heart of the fourth industrial revolution is the ability to derive insights in an increasingly data-centric world. Big data computational systems enable this digital transformation across a wide variety of industry verticals. These standards are in response to an increasing demand for greater clarity and consistency of concepts and processes in handling big data.”

Wo Chang, Convenor of working group WG 2, Data, which operates under the ISO/IEC subcommittee on artificial intelligence, said the ISO/IEC 20547 series complements the foundational big data terminology standard ISO/IEC 20546 and provides a comprehensive BDRA.

“The BDRA addresses requirements, architecture, security and privacy, use cases and considerations that architects, application providers and decision makers will want to consider in deploying a big data system. This will serve to increase trust and understanding amongst stakeholders and across the whole industry, ensuring big data technologies are used safely and effectively.”

The ISO/IEC 20547 series includes:

  • ISO/IEC TR 20547-1Information technology – Big data reference architecture – Part 1: Framework and application process
  • ISO/IEC TR 20547-2Information technology – Big data reference architecture – Part 2: Use cases and derived requirements
  • ISO/IEC 20547-3Information technology – Big data reference architecture – Part 3: Reference architecture
  • ISO/IEC 20547-4Information technology – Big data reference architecture – Part 4: Security and privacy
  • ISO/IEC TR 20547-5Information technology – Big data reference architecture – Part 5: Standards roadmap

ISO/IEC 20547, Parts 1, 2, 3 and 5, were developed by subcommittee SC 42Artificial intelligence, while Part 4 was developed by SC 27Information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection, whose secretariats are held, respectively, by ANSI, ISO’s member for the USA, and DIN, ISO’s member for Germany. Both subcommittees operate under the auspices of joint technical committee ISO/IEC JTC 1, the information technology arm of ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The ISO/IEC 20547 series can be purchased from your national ISO member or through the ISO and IEC Webstores.


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