Big data is currently one of the hottest topics in the business world. Companies are beginning to tap data emanating from various digital sources to help them in marketing, strategic planning and improving efficiency. This has made big data a major tool for analytics across different industries. Here are the top five real-life scenarios in which companies use big data.
Providing Quality Healthcare
Big data has found its way in the field of medicine and healthcare. Medical institutions now use it to create electronic records for doctors and nurses. Information such as medical histories of patients and medication summaries are now easily available for access and use. Doctors and nurses can use such information to detect trends across the industry before they offer treatment. This has greatly improved the quality of healthcare in the country.
Big data also plays a critical role in medical research. Researchers can use big data analytics to decode entire DNA strings in minutes. Using the results from the strings, they can easily find cures and better predict disease patterns.
The law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations(FBI) and the National Security Agency (NSA) leverage big data to deal with criminals. The National Security Agency, for example, uses big data analytics to detect terrorist activities and prevent cyber attacks. The FBI uses big data to monitor criminals and predict suspicious activities in a given area. Credit companies also use information retrieved from big data to detect and prevent fraud.
In 2014, a section of police officers from Chicago paid a visit to areas they had identified as likely to have many criminals through a computer generated list. The main of objective of this idea was to reduce crime by giving locals information about areas with high rates of crime.
Optimizing the Function of Countries and Cities
Many countries and cities use big data for various purposes. For instance, large cities can efficiently manage their traffic using real-time traffic information, social media feeds and weather data. Other cities are currently brainstorming how they can use big data to transform themselves to smart cities.
One city in California is already using data analytics to identify people who illegally tap water in real-time. This initiative has helped residents cut their water costs by 80 percent. Another perfect example is Los Angeles. The city uses data emanating from magnetic road sensors and VSAT systems to control traffic lights. This has enabled the city to reduce traffic congestion significantly.
Optimizing Machine Performance
The use of big data analytics allows devices to become more autonomous and smarter. Fitness bands use big data to analyze your daily activities and determine how fit and healthy you are. Google currently uses big data tools to run its self-driving cars. Thanks to big data, the Toyota Prius has GPS systems, cameras as well high-performing computers and sensors to safely drive on the road without requiring human effort.
People can also apply big data analytics to improve the performance of their phones, computers and networks. For example, a company in Ireland requires its employees to wear armbands that can distribute tasks, monitor the items taken from the shelves and even predict the completion time for certain jobs.
Big data has also found its way in education, especially in online learning. Mobile applications built on big data analytics allow educators to give multi-choice assignments via their devices without the need for physical presence. There are digital courses that use big-data analytics to identify what students are learning and what type of teaching suits them most. Big data also enables teachers to solve disputes effectively. For instance, it allows them to do cross checks when marking exams and identify students who copy from each other.
The list discussed above outlines some of the classic examples of big data usage in real life. It is a clear evidence that big data touches almost every aspect of our lives.