In the last decade or so, the collection of data has moved from simple to towering skyscrapers and silos of information. Information that can be continually reaped and collected day after day to provide businesses and organizations with an enormous wealth of information. Take this wealth of information and analyze it and you have one of the most effective Business strategies of the 21st Century. The goal and promise of big data and analytics is to illuminate the habits, trends and behaviors of customers and clients in all industries of the business world in hopes of better marketing, advertising, and providing an overall more personal shopping experience.
In the business world, big data’s Big Impact is seen in its more intelligent decision making. Decisions on every business platform from BI to customer service are no longer based on gut reaction or instinct or even tradition. Decisions that can at times be wrong due to human error. Instead, with big data in the mix, companies are able to make important and less important decisions based off algorithms that analyze collected information on customers’ purchase histories, shopping habits, web-surfing behaviors, demographics and more. Thanks to these algorithms, systems enabled with them can manage logistics, provide customer service, analyze medical records and more.
Companies that have big data in their holsters are also hitting the bull’s eye on amazing opportunities. Others are completely reshaping entire industries with radical, new business models. Take Airbnb who became a major player in the hospitality vector virtually overnight without having to build a single hotel or resort. Uber also has innovated the taxi market by using geospatial mapping technology to match passengers with nearby drivers in real time.
Big data has not only revolutionized old industries but has also paved the way for a new industry--big data. Big data startups like ITA Software that provides predictions for prices of hotels, flights, shopping and more. Since November 2010, more than 2,000 big data startups have been born operating as data analytics companies, or as data providers or traders.
On a different level, big data has also had big impacts on our personal lives. Netflix uses big data to decide which films and TV shows to make available next on their TV streaming site and app. This is done by analyzing two billion hours of TV that customers stream each month to recommend similar programs. They also use a predictive model to decide which new original programs to create and which shows to make available each month.
Big data has also greatly changed the health industry by creating electronic medical records for doctors and hospitals. This has allowed easier access to histories and has helped doctors detect certain trends across all of the data.
Another big impact in our lives is big data’s influence in crime. With the help of big data, cities are able to reduce the amount of burglaries and theft that occur. Paired with intelligent video analytics and other IoT software, police departments in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, California have been able to use big data to determine where crimes are most likely to occur and where their officers are expected to be most needed.
Other impacts from big data have been seen in music streaming, online and in-store shopping, mobile maps, wearables like FitBit, and even urban planning. Overall, big data influences just about every aspect of our lives know, business or not. But it isn’t an invasive impact. The more data collected, the better understanding we have of trends and behaviors that will help us make better decisions as businesses or as individuals.
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