With the millions of actions we as humans make every day, it is likely you have never thought about the fact that someone, somewhere would be ecstatic to learn about what your next move is going to be and that holding that knowledge could mean thousands of dollars in profit. So what is this data? Well, it is the new big thing and it is fittingly named Big Data. Companies can use this data to maximize profits; individuals in the music industry can use this data to predict the success of a certain musical piece; investors can use this data to conduct real-time risk analysis; and healthcare personnel can use this data to identify and assess conditions with more accuracy than ever before.
Originating in 2005, Big Data is collected in the form of text, audio, images, website logs, consumer transaction logs, you name it, there can and will be some form of data collected from it. Big Data helps companies with purchasing and inventories, advertising, analyzing internal threats, and effectively allows them to create the best experience possible for the customer via efficient feedback channels.
Everyone from Fortune 500 Corporations to the family-owned boutique down the street is able to use Big Data in their daily practices. Companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are well known for their data collection and analytics practices, but new programs such as ClearStory Data and Canopy Labs have been designed to allow small businesses to efficiently analyze customer data and work to maximize their profits. Programs such as Qualtrics are used even in universities and schools to provide quick and easy to obtain feedback that allows for the analysis of vast amounts of data.
Big Data has found its way into nearly every industry in the matter of less than a decade and is now the basis of many groundbreaking technologies. Big Data paves a path towards artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality, and many more technologies that would have been unfathomable even two decades ago.