September 16, 2013

Big Data – Finding New Areas of Application

There is no denying the fact that today the buzz around big data is earsplitting. Organizations (both private and public) are reconsidering their data management approaches in the light of rapid advancements in emerging technologies such as Apache Hadoop, an open source big data technology.

Today, these data-driven decisions are helping businesses revamp their product lines, overhaul their service offerings, find new revenue opportunities and spur innovation. Even the public sector is entering the arena to leverage available data. The key point here is that it’s not enough just to accumulate vast amounts of information. You also have to deploy the right tools to analyze information effectively and glean insights from it.

Let us cut to the chase and discuss some innovative application areas of Big Data that have come to the fore:

Forecasting Disease Outbreak – The healthcare sector has already been the beneficiary of this new wave of big data integration. Enterprise health analytics is being driven primarily due to the need to cut down costs and improve the quality of care. For instance, researchers at the John Hopkins University showed how the Twitter universe can be analyzed extensively (5000 Tweets/minute) to get early warning signals on any surge in flu related conversations.

Protecting Economic Initiatives – Data-driven analytics are no longer restricted to the use of the private sector alone. Global Pulse is a United Nations initiative to track in real-time any anomalies that might hamper development goals both at local and global levels. Timely, actionable information extracted via big data analysis is turning out to be a potent tool in the hands of decision makers in bridging the gaps before the situation escalates and hampers any significant social development gains.

Helping in Talent Management – Big-data driven talent analytics will soon swarm the recruitment industry and help it in attracting and retaining talent for long. Sears, with more than 2500 retail outlets in the US and Canada, is harnessing the power of Big Data to make informed decisions when it comes to talent acquisition.

Aiding the Insurance Industry – The insurance industry is ripe for disruption, and there is no better example than the insurance products sold by The Climate Corporation.  The company’s platform manages to generate 10 trillion weather simulation data points, which are in turn used to ascertain risk and pricing for the insurance products. This voluminous amount of weather-related data helps in reducing risks and safeguarding agricultural interests in the event of any unforeseen calamity.

Interested in finding out more about what big data can do for you? See some of our other blog posts on topics like Big Data and Machine Learning  and Apache Mahout , or download our “Distributed NoSQL Database Work at 3Pillar” white paper.