June 3, 2019
We live in a digital age. This can sound obvious, but it is not until you look at the specifics that the sheer amount of data starts to take on significance. The world is connected to the internet at all times, either by phone or desktop. In the future, the Internet of Things will also truly take hold of society.
The World in Data: The Numbers
To put it into perspective just how digital our lives have become, consider this:
2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every single day.
Internet of Things and Big Data
With the Internet of Things, or, in other words, devices that talk to each other to provide us with a seamless, transcendental experience, the amount of data produced every day will only increase. Data is being produced so quickly, in fact, that 90% of the data that has ever been produced and published online has been done in the last two years.
This leaves us with a problem. What do we do with all of it?
How We Can Process This Data
That much data is simply too much for our brains to handle, and yet, within those quintillions of bytes, there are some truths about human society and behavior that we have never before known.
Without the power of algorithms, AI, and the minds of data scientists, the value of this data would be lost to us. Thankfully, these three pillars exist, which is why the future is looking bright.
What is Big Data
Big Data refers to the complete lexicon of digital information that we have published, either directly or indirectly, online. Data is compiled when people use the internet or interact with sites just as much as it is when people directly publish information.
In fact, the indirect data is far more telling than that which was intentionally published. It is through behavior tracking that a machine can start to understand the intentions of a person – knowledge that offers a gold mine of opportunity for marketers.
That isn’t the only thing big data can do, however.
What Can Big Data Do?
There are many areas that benefit from Big Data analysis. Yes, marketing is a huge draw towards Big Data, but you can also glean how society has changed and shifted over the years. For sociologists, this offers an insight into the collective human behavior that has never before been possible.
Government and Big Data
Outside of businesses, Big Data benefits development and governments most of all. On the one hand, you can help plan and fund areas of cities based on migration movement. This way, you can meet demand rather than play catch-up. Big Data could also glean information like polling predictions, and can help politicians focus on key concerns that their citizens genuinely care about.
The Privacy Concern
The issue with this usage of Big Data is privacy. That is why at the moment, Data Science focuses primarily on either open source collections of data or on private collections maintained by companies.
Why Do Businesses Need to Care?
Businesses need to care about Big Data for two main reasons. One, because the marketing opportunities that come from it mean you can target customers in a way they want to be targeted and achieve more successful results. Two, because the data you make offers a huge wealth of opportunities on their own.
For example, take your processing data. Analyzed correctly, you can discover inefficiencies along your production line. You will be able to then create a complex and comprehensive strategy that produces the optimal number of product per season to meet demand, based on figures from previous years without overproducing either.
Hiring a Data Scientist
There is so much that you can learn from your own data, but that doesn’t mean you can learn just by looking. You will want someone with a strategically devised, online Master’s in Data Science on your team.
You can either hire someone who has this degree or sponsor them so that they can come back after getting their degree, work for you and give you insights into your own company and customers that you would never have seen without them.
Data science is an art. It comes together when analytics and humanities disciplines come together. Data is just a set of numbers, it takes a scientist to understand what those numbers are saying and someone with a well-trained mind to take that and put it towards good use in your company.
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.