You are here
Harnessing big data to give your career the drive it needs
Big data is no longer a term exclusive to certain industries like tech, and it’s certainly no longer a buzzword. In Australia, we’ve reached a point of acceptance and now realise big data – and open data – should be harnessed and used by companies to effectively make better decisions and improve business. Equally, understanding big data and its uses can provide an enormous boost to your career prospects.
What is big data?
Big data is a term used to describe the gathering and storage of vast amounts of data, usually relating to human behaviour. As opposed to standard information gathering, anything that classifies as big data is notable for the volume and variety of information acquired, as well as the extremely fast speeds at which the data is collected. To adjust with the constant new information that is gathered every minute in certain industries, incredibly powerful new systems have been built.
Big data examples
So how is harnessing the power of big data useful? Many industries are already utilising modern technologies to perform research and market analysis on an enormous scale.
As the Internet of Things evolves, an increasing number of hospitals are using sensors to monitor many aspects of healthcare, such as patients’ vital signs, hospital equipment, and even items such as glasses and artificial limbs. With big data in healthcare, we can now go even further by creating enormous data maps of individual human beings.
Have you ever noticed a time when you’ve been browsing social media and seen a way-too-specific-to-be-coincidence advert pop up? Long gone are the days of printing magazine ads and watching the phone for incoming sales – today’s marketers use the information we post about ourselves online in order to tailor ads to users. This is based on every metric imaginable. Age, job, interests, app usage, log-in time, frequency of posting, recent Google searches – you name it. Big data in marketing is one of the most game-changing (and world changing) uses of data ever.
Big data is ubiquitous in manufacturing, with uses such as improving product quality and tracking defects, simulating new ways of manufacturing, forecasting and planning supply, and plenty more. Having access to such a wealth of information boosts efficiency, and ultimately saves both time and money.
In order to keep up with a rapidly growing population, there’s immense pressure on the agricultural industry to provide. However, instead of simply upping production, cutting wastage is a far more important endeavour, with some $100 billion worth of food wasted per year. By adding sensors to farming equipment and closely monitoring the journey of food from field to plate, big data can help farmers reduce wastage, as well as maintain a productive and profitable operation.
By accessing personal information of billions of clients worldwide, banks are able to present customers with tailor-made offers and packages that have already been tested on other customers with similar purchasing history or credit ratings. As in other sectors, this sort of mass profiling means banks are able to save money on running campaigns that may not hit the correct audience, instead ensuring that every customer sees a bespoke ad: profitable and personable.
Realising and utilising the power of big data can energise your company’s whole business model, and as successive industries grow familiar with the benefits of analysing detailed reports, personalised service and streamlined processes will continue to spread.