10 years ago

What Makes Big Data Better?

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We all know that getting into big data is now vital for competing in a highly competitive marketplace.

As Kenneth Cukier has said in his TED talk in Berlin, Germany in June 2014, big data is not only good for taking a look at the big picture we have always been looking at, but also allowing us to look at the picture that we have not seen before.  For instance, everyone knows that apple pie is a best seller in the United States.  This is what big data says as well.  But when supermarkets introduced smaller-sized pies, apple pie became second.  If you only take a look at the sales of one supermarket, you would never get that insight – that when buying pies for themselves, people tend to choose what they like instead of trying to figure out what everybody in their family or group would like as whole, which is a necessity when you buy big pies that would need more than one person to consume.

In this age, we can store a tremendous amount of data into something that is smaller than our fingernails.  Not only are we able to store more data physically, but we are also able to share, process, search for, and copy data easily and quickly.  Furthermore, we are now able to collect far more data than ever before.  Cukier cited location.  In the past, if you wanted to keep track of somebody’s location, then you would need to follow him or her around.  Now, you can tap into other people’s own smartphones to see where they are.  Their locations are being recorded by their mobile service carriers.  In a more active example, think about your own body.  Now, you have devices that measure your heart rate, blood pressure, even the number of steps you take, and these information are logged somewhere for you to review later on and see just how fit you are.

The ability to gather and store data efficiently, easily and inexpensively is what is driving the big data movement that we have now.  It is not just for businesses, it is the future.  It will help feed the hungry, predict a lot of things so that they could be avoided and help us do our work easily.

But of course, Cukier says that there are trade-offs.  For one, jobs will be lost.  A human analyst will no longer be needed in the workplace when machines and computers can efficiently come up with reports, analyses and predictions from anything, such as what your next customer will want to buy to what to keep in your inventory.  Another is that there is a lot of room for misuse and abuse.  We are currently getting a lot of data that we simply do not know what to do with.  Most of all, there is the issue of privacy.

There is no doubt that big data is poised to be a game changer.  However, businesses using big data for their operations would need to ensure that they use the data that they’ve collected responsibly and pay utmost attention to security.  And Four Cornerstone can help you with that.  We can deploy Oracle products for you that would help you get the most out of your big data – from getting better analyses and insights to keeping your data safe and secure. You can call us at 1 (817) 377 1144.

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