Big Data has been credited as a game changer in businesses across the world, opening up new markets, creating new opportunities and allowing companies to make the most of the resources at their disposal. It has also been used in several other contexts, some better known than others.
Therefore below we have listed five of the most impressive uses of Big Data and Analytics away from business uses.
In the 2014 World Cup, Germany was the team who dominated for the entire tournament and eventually went on to win against Argentina in the final. Many attributed this to the way that they played as a team, but in reality they were using complex analytical tools to bring the best out of their players. They had even paid to have a training camp built especially that included a data centre where the information from players could be analysed on site.
One of the most successful professional cycling teams of the past 5 years has been Team Sky, winning two of the last 4 Tour de Frances. There success has been attributed to not only the skills of their riders, but the data driven approach they have taken to every part of their preparation. This has seen them achieve incredible success in a relatively short amount of time and has been adopted by almost every one of their rival teams.
These are two examples where data has not just added a little extra to a performance, but been the determining factor in dominance.
The use of Big Data in conservation is now becoming more widespread, especially since the use of image recognition has become more widespread. It has allowed populations to be monitored through remote cameras as well as allowing for data to show the population levels in certain areas.
It also allows for conservationists to effectively target areas and species to have the maximum impact. Often the people who are working on these projects are doing so for charitable organisations where money is tight and restricted to a very strict budget. Therefore the use of data allows for a far better ROI and injection of funds where they are most required.
When natural disasters occur, they are generally unpredictable. Even hurricanes have a relatively limited warning system, often giving people only 24 hours to prepare and evacuate. Although data has a major factor to play in this prediction process at the moment, it will not be for several years that it can increase the time taken to predict these disasters.
Where it can be of use is with the cleanup and relief aspects of a disaster. Through data it is possible to track health scares, sustenance levels and where there are particular concentrations of people, where efforts would have the most positive effect. As with conservation, these humanitarian actions are often the work of charities who need to concentrate resources on the most important areas and data helps them to make the most of this.
The importance of data in city management cannot be overstated, from keeping traffic flowing to planning where certain buildings should be, data plays an important part in the designation of sectors and the management of the vital cogs that keeps the cogs of a city turning. Data helps to co-ordinate civil maintenance, prevent crime and allow the population to have effective access to utilities.
Modern cities simply could not function without the use of Big Data and the technologies surrounding it.
The biggest impact that Big Data can have is it’s use in medicine and medical research. The work currently being done by many of the most important pharmaceutical companies in the world by utilising data to create the most effective medicines is going to have a major impact on the every day lives of people all over the world. Although technically business related, the price of medicine can be reduced, meaning that more people can afford it and fewer people will die from preventable diseases.
Of all of the impact that Big Data is going to have away from just a business context, the impact in medicine will surely be the most prolific.