Big data: the real meaning - The experience of a research center in California


Dr Alberta Soranzo - Head of User Experience and Strategy at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research till march 2014, now at Friday, London.

May 2014

In recent years there has been a flurry of talks about big data, to the point that the real meaning of the term seems to have been lost along the way. How big is big, and how does the size of the datasets we’re currently collecting mean in terms of organisation, analysis and profitability?

When it comes to personal data, health data especially, things become infinitely more complex because of confidentiality and regulatory constraints. Are there any workarounds and what insights can be gathered by working with data that is so very personal in nature?

Through examples drawn from the experience of a research center in California, we’ll explore scenarios of utilisation and ways of leveraging the power of data in the health/pharma sector. 



Alberta Soranzo’s relationship with interfaces started when she was a child in Italy and was employed as a human guinea pig by Olivetti to test early personal computers “ergonomics”. She has yet to stop taking things apart to understand how they work and to make them better.

At UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research, she developed strategies, workflows and interfaces for public health, focusing on big data and statistical analysis online query tools.

Now Director of UX at Friday in London, she specialize in the development of visual frameworks that support retrieval of complex bodies of information and the delivery of meaningful experiences across channels, platforms and devices. She also consult on strategy and IA for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights and, distance notwithstanding, continues serving on the board of Los Angeles User Experience Meetup.