The Uses of Big Data

What is Big Data? It is one of those terms that most people have now heard of, but have no clue what it means. If you look up the definition for big data, you are going to find multiple. For something that has an impact on everyone, it is hard to believe there is not a “set in stone” definition.

Perhaps the easiest way to understand big data is to learn where and how it effects us. Here are a few interesting ways big data is used.

Understanding Consumers

This is one of the most utilized and popular areas of big data. Today companies are collecting mass amounts of data through social media, browser logs, text analytics, sensor data and much more. This helps them predict consumer behavior, buying patterns and feelings. Companies such as Wal-Mart are able to predict when and what products are going to sell. Even government election campaigns are using big data to develop a  better understanding of voter behavior.

Personal Quantification

Everyday more and more individuals are wearing smart devices that track just about everything you can think of. These devices are not only used to collect data and patterns for yourself, but all the data is collected from these devices and is analyzed. Some of these companies can collect years of data from these devices everyday. Another popular area where big data is used is on dating sights to help you find your perfect match.

Improving Health

Improving public health and health care is possibly the most important use of big data. Big data analytics can help predict disease patterns and even find new cures by decoding DNA strings in minutes. Smart device data, such as the ones we talked about in the section above, can now be applied to people and their various diseases. Data is collected from every heartbeat and breath of a newborn. This data is analyzed and can help predict infections and other complications a day before any physical symptoms occur. Even social media analytics integrated with medical records can help us monitor other outbreaks such as the flu.

 Where Big Data Collected From You?

Every time you settle down on the couch to enjoy your favorite book on your kindle or other reading device, data is being collected from you. These devices track what you are reading, how often and even how quickly you read it. Thanks to the data collected from you, a list of suggestions is developed just for you. You also see this on popular apps such as Netflix, Youtube and various music applications that track what you watch and listen to. Big Data is also collected right from your smart phone. Data is constantly collected from your location, what apps you are using, and even who you are calling and texting.


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