Big Data – how helpful and for whom?

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Big Data, a hot topic in recent years, has diverse definitions, all united around the growing volumes of data throughout the world. A good infographic for adoption insights is presented by Datameter below.

bigdata infographic

Bigdata adoption infographic by Datameter

The most suitable Big Data usage seems to be in the manufacturing industry, where it is used for optimising processes, failure prevention, etc. and can both add value and protect people and environment.

Currently Big Data mainly caters to business by targeting customers, e.g. a search in Google for winter tires will yield a lot of ads for tire stores complete with offers. Some of the ads will take into account the car make and model and narrow down the results, which although helpful only presents different options, each claiming best value, etc. Telling apart marketing exaggerations from valid claims is often tricky. While the ads network and creators get paid for displaying these results the user is flooded with an influx of similar offers and no clue what to choose. He can try to limit the offers around a budget, which will remove the highest and lowest priced offers as statistical extremes, but will still end up with a hefty result set matching the criteria. So far, Big Data has favoured the enterprises, while the customer has benefited slightly from the targeting following his search.

How about Big Data in favour of the user? Keeping with the car tire example, what if sensors on the inside of the rims and the suspension, gather constant real world data, such as fuel consumption, tire wear, vehicle handling in dry, wet or snow conditions, activation of ABS and other assistant systems, etc. Combining this data and overlaying it on the data of the user’s location can lead to better conditions matching and ultimately narrowing the search down only to the most suitable choices. However this can happen only if the data is open, so everyone can consider and interpret it.

Naturally, newcomers will struggle to get in the game and many low performers will be pushed out of the market, but customer satisfaction and safety should increase in the long run, since competition will be stirred in this direction as well. Even if this leads to some increase in prices, it will be matched by the added value and will lead to better market segmentation.

What will the next Big entity be? Maybe Open Data combined with Big Data for the perfect match.

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