Big Data is the relatively new science of understanding and predicting human behavior through the study of large volumes of unstructured data. This study can reveal patterns and trends, as well as forecasts. It is also often known as Predictive Analysis.
Using Big Data, companies can generate extensive data and statistics to utilise machine learning, artificial intelligence, and even robotics to serve customers better, work with more detailed analysis, and devise new and even more effective strategies for marketing and development.
Big Data, and all the technological advancements that come with it, has significantly impacted a range of professions and sectors in recent years:
The use of Big Data allows businesses to understand their markets better, and gain a greater understanding of customers’ purchase history, preferences, trends and behaviours.
Larger global and multinational companies frequently turn to Big Data or Artificial Intelligence to store and analyse transaction histories, customer data, browser history, and payment trends. This data is often then used to create algorithms to improve the user experience and increase usability.
Big Data is also useful for businesses to build and develop an online presence, which is increasingly important in this digital age. An online presence and active engagement in social media can help businesses get to know customers better and as a result create more relatable and shareable content.
By simply improving efficiency when it comes to storage and handling of data, this technology can vastly improve healthcare services in every sector, cutting administrative costs and saving lives.
Amalgamating multiple patient files and storing all records and data in one easily accessible place means medical professionals can more accurately diagnose, cut down treatment time and vastly reduce errors in treatment or medication. This in turn can also reduce costs incurred by previously having to conduct multiple diagnostic tests and prescribing unnecessary medicines.
Big Data also has the very real potential to uncover and research correlations, patterns, and trends exhibited by different genomes, thus developing cures, vaccines and treatments for countless ailments.
Since its inception, Big Data has been particularly useful in the transport industry for helping providers better understand customers and improve efficiency. In addition, analysis and predictive analysis can be used to determine the best routes to use and avoid traffic incidents.
Uber is one such company; the global transport provider uses Big Data to store customers’ usage history, payment methods, preferred routes, drivers and more. Analysis of this data helps Uber make more relevant suggestions for customers, develop new technology, and improve service and efficiency.
In the world of finance, there is little more important than security. Big Data is particularly useful in galvanising and improving processes. One such way it does this is through customer data analysis: by better understanding customers, banks and financial institutions can learn more about trends and customs, and thus study patterns to determine, predict and prevent any fraudulent activities. Another benefit of this technology is the improvement to customer service; while this obviously means a more pleasant customer experience, it can also lead to knock-on effects of better reviews, greater recommendations and higher levels of customer loyalty.
A real-world example would be a large company like PayPal, who uses Big Data to study the locations, transaction history, addresses, and latest activity of customers to predict and detect fraudulent activity. Data is also analysed to understand customer habits and to reward customers with loyalty gifts and relevant promotions.
Besides the sectors mentioned above, Big Data has been useful in countless more across the world and across disciplines. It’s no surprise that analysis of this kind has long been considered the future of technology and really can be applied to any business.