It’s a lot of geek speak. Data mining. Analytics. Information Processing. All of these comprise what techs call “Big Data,” and it’s the method which businesses analyze massive amounts of data to make better decisions. The data has always been out there, but now that it can be collected and analyzed at lightning speed, the world is changing for the better.
Big data can be tricky with healthcare due to privacy laws, but by tracking healthy people, big data is amassing amazing insights. Big data can constantly monitor vital symptoms 24 hours a day, creating a very large control group segmented into age, demographics and even geographical location. Analyzing large groups of controlled information in real-time, can help predict disease, and help people make healthy lifestyle choices. Big data even predicted the most recent outbreak of the Ebola virus.
President Obama ran what was called the “First Big Data Campaign.” Using the analytics from big data, Obama’s team was able to precisely target undecided voters who might have been swayed in his direction. Instead of relying on traditional poling, they analyzed voters’ lifestyle preferences. This totally rocked the political world, as data had never been used in a campaign like this before. Big data isn’t just used to target voters. It’s now being used to predict campaigns. Big data will only be more influential in the next presidential election.
Big data is also being used to save education. By crunching numbers, computers can match students to majors that fit them well. This can help prevent the large number of dropouts across the country. Big data can go even further to match the course material to the students based on their prior experience, interests and preferred learning format (videos, reading etc.) All the information is readily available from the large amount of data extracted from national standardized testing.
Retailers are making massive amounts of cash off big data. By analyzing shoppers’ history, preference and even online browsing history, stores can create loyalty programs and highly effective targeted advertising. Big data not only identifies what a customer likes, but they can identify the geographic location. So if a customer is near a store, companies can instantly send them a coupon. Retailers benefit by selling more products. The customer benefits by getting better deals.
With all the amazing abilities of big data, it’s still only in its infancy. Each day computer programming gets better, faster and more targeted, only improving the abilities and benefits of big data.
Revealed! Four ways big data analysis is already changing the world.
David A. Steinberg is CEO of Zeta Global, named one of America’s most promising companies by Forbes Magazine.
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