Data is everywhere, but what are we doing with it? How are big data technologies being applied to real-word scenarios to improve and inform our communities, health, financial systems and more?
Here are 5 powerful uses we’ve identified just this year:
1. Crisis response management
Big data is used by international and local agencies to help drive decision making and problem solving during crisis situations. For example, data from cellphones, satellites and even social media can be triangulated to pinpoint the center of a crisis or where help should be sent first.
2. Fraud protection
Hey, what did you buy at Target yesterday? Um… The more we spend online and offline, the more likely it is for our personal data to fall into the wrong hands. Big data and predictive models are being used to detect patterns that might indicate fraudulent transactions.
Besides the millions of health monitoring applications for fitness or even glucose levels, data on disease is being aggregated into a central repository and then analyzed to look for connections to other health conditions and possible cures.
4. Predicting the next recession
Can we forecast the next big downturn? According to economist Tara Sinclair, many are wondering how accurate the US Federal Reserve’s predictions of another recession in 2020 really are. Are these forecasts reflective of what is really happening in the economy? Newer data-driven companies are using big data that provides insights on “the real-time behavior of economic actors, revealing previously undetectable shifts in the economy.”
5. The Big One
What every Californian fears…that big earthquake. For years, it was thought that earthquake predictions were impossible, but the rise of big data technology and analytics has changed all that. According to Forbes, “Big Data analysis has opened up the game to a new breed of earthquake forecasters using satellite and atmospheric data combined with statistical analysis. And their striking results seem to be proving the naysayers wrong.”