The name Big Data comes from this fact that there is humongous size of data, that businesses want to analyze to predict behavior pattern, so that future needs are handled better.
We are leaving 'digital footprint' everywhere – be it just website visit, credit card details while shopping, ebooks we read, comments on social media, tweets you made, photos uploaded by you, videos watched by you. All of this is leaving traces for someone to analyze to serve you better the next time.
Digital footprints that we create can be categorized as below :
Activity Data - When we are listening to music, our digital music player records this activity. When we read ebook, our ebook reader is tracking this activity. When we use smartphone to search something on internet, it is recording browsing activity. When we are shopping online or offline, credit card transaction is noted down.
Conversation Data – Every email that we send is available with email service provider. Our phone calls are recorded by telecom service provider. Facebook, twitter and whatsapp are such social media platforms that everything read and wrote there is giving a pulse of society we live in and that too in real time. No wonder, messages go viral so quickly these days.
Photo and Video Data – Hundreds of Thousands of images flashed by mobile phone cameras and digital cameras are getting uploaded on internet and videos too. CCTV recordings are available from every nook and corner of the world.
Sensor Data – Be it a traffic sensor or GPS sensor in your smart phone, there are sensors installed everywhere to generate vital data for analysis.
Whole point is to analyze this Big Data into a predictive and meaningful decision. Big Data can be used in many ways to better our lives. Some examples are as below -
Healthcare – Understand diseases pattern and take preventive actions. Use and analyze wearable devices data (heartbeat, steps walked in a day) to link your lifestyle and diseases. Monitor and predict epidemics.
Law enforcement and security – Police forces are using big data analytics to predict criminal activities, cyber attacks, online frauds and to prevent terrorist attacks.
Know your customer better – internet browsing history, text analytics, social media updates give good knowledge of your customers, so that you can customize your product or offerings as per their needs.
No wonder Big Data is the way forward for better human life.