Big Data. A trend in today’s digital world that is so big it has an impact on everyone’s life. Not only is Big Data used by professionals, it actually has a great influence on our private everyday life as well. Fundamentally, Big Data provides us with the ability to collect and analyze the large amount of data, we are generating. The idea behind Big Data is that everything we do online leaves a digital footprint. This ability of tracking an ever-expanding amount of data is completely transforming our way of understanding the world, and everything in it. With so much information instantly available, the integration of Big Data is unavoidable in our everyday lives. Even now, Big Data influences how we work, exercise and shop and, this is just the beginning. Read further to discover how Big Data has a massive impact on our daily activities without us even noticing it.
Ever noticed how ads on your browser are similar to the ones you have just looked at? Companies use Big Data to track browsing habits, social media posts and ad-clicking experiences and thereby suggest what you are thinking about and most likely to buy. So, if you have done a Google search for cheap washing machines or blue raincoats, do not be surprised if you are shown ads related to exactly these products on sites you visit the very next day.
Smartphones and other smart devices are now able to track and monitor our progress towards a healthier lifestyle. These devices not only track physical fitness but also provide us with applications that can identify chronic disorders like diabetes, Parkinson’s and heart diseases. However, the issue with many medical studies is the lack of accuracy in data because the data is self-reported. People often fudge their own data to make themselves look better. Fortunately, with smartphones and other wearable devices, physical activity can be recorded and transferred into accurate and reliable data. Researchers can rely on useful data from smart devices and store large amounts of data into databases that can be easily retrieved and analyzed in understanding the connection between lifestyle and disease.
A big problem in the health industry is not having access to the data required to treat people. Prior to storing data electronically, the world’s historical data was and in some countries still is filed on paper manually. This means that many countries, have no health data at all. But the hard work of pharmaceutical companies and researchers is paying off after spending years collecting, sorting and aggregating digital data. New electronic systems allow hospitals to put medical records into computers to create electronic records for hospitals, doctors and other healthcare professionals. Easier access to data gives hospitals and medical professionals the possibility to exchange and share data which allows for better diagnosis and treatments.
With the help of Big Data, it only takes seconds for banks to find out if someone else other than you have used your credit card or made unauthorized transactions. All this Big Data in the banking industry is being collected and applied in such a powerful way, that computer software these days can detect suspicious activity like an unusual large amount of money taken out of an account at an uncommon time. Now and then, the bank will get it wrong and your payment or purchase might get declined, but rather that happening than jeopardizing the safety of our money and bank accounts.
Today, Big Data is being used to help the police keeping our streets safe. Because of Big Data and visualisation software, the police can now predict where and when a crime might occur. By storing a thorough history of criminal data in a database together with algorithms based on criminal behavior patterns, the police are able to predict where criminal activity is about to happen. This not only means catching criminals more effectively, but it also helps preventing crimes from happening in the first place.