Big Data Impacting All Industries

As Big Data spreads, we look at how it is affecting more industries than you might expect


At the first analytics conference that I attended around 5 years ago, the only people there were those working in high-tech, pharmaceuticals and the early stages of social media. After attending a recent summit in London I heard about everything from travel agencies to hospitals.

Data has truly spread to almost every single industry in the world, from the niche to the global, and each are seeing the significant gains that using data like this can bring.

The industries that are seeing the most use from Big Data are those who were either early adopters and therefore are more mature in their Big Data progressions, i.e. telecommunications, or those who are relatively young and have been able to weave data through their business as they go, i.e. social media.

However, we are seeing that in other industries, the effect is still impressive.

Manufacturing for instance. Although it would be difficult to use Big Data in the actual manufacture (i.e. building) of a product, it plays a profound effect on the ways that it is done.

Data has allowed manufacturers to predict demand and therefore not over or underproduce. This means that retailers or end users are not understocked or manufacturers left with excess units. It allows money to be saved, demand to be met and more efficiency in product creation.

In addition to manufacturing, haulage has also seen a considerable impact from the use of data.

Many consider haulage to be simply a case of loading equipment onto a lorry or ship, then taking it to a location. In reality, haulage is a complex and data driven part of the supply chain.

Having data weaved into this allows companies to track where everything is and when a delivery is likely to be made. This can be vital to retailers or other end users who need to know, with accuracy, when shipments will arrive. This allows for predictability in supply and therefore smoother retailer transaction.

Traditionally, Big Data has been thought of as an online tool and something that needs to have thousands of sensors and millions of data points. In reality, it can be found from finding a minimum amount of data from the most relevant points. This point alone has meant that industries who would not have been previously considered as data driven, can build insight. It is making a massive difference to the ways that almost every industry operates.

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