Big data is a buzz word that has become extremely popular and widespread among companies lately, it has also been a popular topic of conversation in the media. Yet big data is a concept that most people do not really know the meaning of; on the other hand, many people who know what it is are unable to pinpoint an exact definition of what it is. At its most basic, big data is a term that is used to describe the way in which modern analysts are able to collect and sort through the vast amounts of data we are generating in the world each day. This data is then used for a wide array of purposes that are quickly changing the way people look at the world, and is also changing how analysts are able to understand and process data.
Big Data and Corporations
Big data has become extremely useful for large corporations around the world, as it is quickly transforming the way they can reach out to consumers. Yet many people still question exactly how companies collect data from consumers, and they wonder what this data is used for. The best way in which one can understand how companies are able to collect and process data is by considering the ways in which people use technology today. For instance, in the past companies were unable to know what kinds of books were most popular among readers, other than by looking at sale rates. Now with the expansion of E-books and social media, analysts are able to look at trends in what types of books are most popular based on the number of E-books downloads and by looking and posts, tweets and blogs. This then allows publishers to change the types of books they sell based on these trends, and they can even market advertisements to individuals based on what they have read.
Another great example of how big data is used today can be seen by looking at Wal-Mart’s use of it. Wal-Mart is one of the companies that is the most successful at using big data. Wal-Mart uses purchase histories, stock information, social media, the mobile phone locations of consumers and even the weather in order to best market to its customers. For instance, if your cell phone number is in Wal-Marts database and it is a sunny day, you may get a text from them advertising barbeques. This automated use of big data is why big data is so rapidly taking over the world. Companies like Wal-Mart can use the data they are collecting on a daily basis in order to best reach out to potential customers.
Big Data and Local Government
New York City is an example of a big city that is able to use big data to track statistics in order to make sure the city is running as smoothly as possible. One way in which they achieve this is by tracking the movements of people at various times of the day in order to ensure that public transportation is running where it needs to in order to meet the needs of people. They can track details as small as how many pedestrians are standing in one place at one time. For instance the city recently reported that at one moment in May there were over 13,000 pedestrians standing between 50th and 51st streets.
Big Data and the World
For this reason it is easy to see why big data is so quickly taking over the world as it can be greatly beneficial for the nation’s population in general. While most people see big data as a good thing that will soon revolutionize the way we live, many people are concerned about the aspects of our lives that analysts are able to access, and they are also concerned by the way in which companies can target the individual consumer. However, it is impossible to not see the benefits that big data will soon be able to provide to the individual consumer. Companies will be able to advertise products to consumers based on what they have previously bought, and cities will be able to look at safety trends in order to try and improve the way of life for its citizens. The next year will mark an even greater expansion of the use of big data, so it will be fascinating to see how this changes the way in which people live.
About the Author: Austin Faux is a copywriter and blogger for Luminar Latino Data. When I’m not glued to the computer I’m at home playing with the kids, helping my wife relax and messing around on my nerd podcast, “I Am A Super Nerd.”