Excellent article that sets about to explain the terrain of big data. With so much promise in this domain it is important to understand how we can accomplish all its benefits - hope WB publishes similar articles in the future as well. Of the top of my head I can think of multiple implementations of big data sourced through social media to solve issues ranging from disaster management (virginia earthquake visualisations) and corporate decision making etc. I'm 100% sure that we can use big data to solve problems in other domains as well. I am especially keen to see how "big" big data becomes in the international development domain. To make it work - in my opinion, understanding the question we're trying to solve using big data is extremely important. Once we get a handle of what we're trying to accomplish deciding on how to solve it becomes a lot easier. I totally agree on the author's point to have cross functional teams for solving big data problems as it requires multi disciplinary knowledge and skills. And we must share best practices and key lessons learnt from other successful big data implementations to ensure that knowledge can be successfully funnelled through.