The Global Impact of Big Data

The Global Impact of Big Data

The Big Data Industry has been several years in the making. Appearing as a natural progression towards analysis in the wake of increasing amounts of data, Big Data was a term first used in an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers publication in 1997. It discussed the challenges associated with handling data blocks of information, some sized at a 100 gigabytes each. With the advancement of technology and greater availability of storage space, the scope of using extensive data analysis in business and society became one of the needs of the hour. And, we grow ever closer to recognizing that dream with recent strides, as pointed out by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the “Big Data Revolution” is imminent. According to their publication in 2016, “Companies in all industries will strive to collect, interpret, and capitalize on vast amounts of new data. ‘Big data’ will be harnessed to understand consumers, improve healthcare, and cut firms’ energy bills.”

While this revolution may not currently be in full swing, many aspects of this slow growth into a big data oriented society is attributed to technical challenges, drastic changes to office culture, causing heavy administrative restructuring, etc. so that these insights may prove effective. The coming Big Data era will entail heavy adjustments to many agencies, and organizations. What makes data science so effective is the inherent nature of cross-industry discipline, and has been making waves in all layers of society, whether it is academia, business, philanthropy, medical, or government.

Big Data is strongly tied to all digital aspects of industry, even academia, dating, sports, etc. There are tons of cultural instances of the use of Big Data in modern movies from “Swordfish” to “Moneyball”. Many online dating sites use Big Data algorithms to make effective matches with potential partners. GPS information has been deeply associated with both navigation and security. Real-time tracking has great relevance in law enforcement, service industry and predictive analysis based professions. This predictive power has made great strides in predicting natural disasters, medicine, agriculture. Marketing appears to be hugely benefitting from Big Data with its heavy integration across various platforms. The use of evidence-based analysis and statistics is indispensable. The scope of big data application has been expanding for the better part of a decade and looks to continue doing so.

Data is collected and understood using mathematical computations and models. Big Data could often been cited as a predictive based industry as accuracy can never be certain and it is about deriving the right context from the analysis provided. They are useful for understanding, but they have their limits. In essence, the pitfalls of Big Data are also subject to human error or misinterpretation. A model might spot a correlation and draw a statistical inference that is unfair or discriminatory, based on online searches, affecting the products, bank loans and health insurance a person is offered, privacy advocates warn. Despite this, there seems to be no turning back for Big Data. It is viewed as new, and highly valuable and looks to be integrated into modern society very quickly.

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