Big Data Is Revolutionizing Our Lives, It'll Revolutionize Enterprise Decision-Making As Well
You probably all have heard the term big data. In the past, we used to look at small data and think about what it would mean to try to understand the world, and now we have a lot more of it, more than we ever could before. The point here is that more data doesn't just let us see more, more of the same thing we were looking at. More data allows us to see new. It allows us to see better, see different.
So what is new about big data?
Let's think about what information looked like, physically looked like in the past. In 1908, on the island of Crete, archaeologists discovered a clay disc. They dated it from 2000 B.C., so it's 4,000 years old. Now, there's inscriptions on this disc, but we actually don't know what it means. It's a complete mystery, but the point is that this is what information used to look like 4,000 years ago. This is how society stored and transmitted information.
One reason why we have so much data in the world today is we are collecting things that we've always collected information on, but another reason why is we're taking things that have always been informational but have never been rendered into a data format and we are putting it into data.
For example, of the issue of posture, the way that you are all sitting right now, the way that you sit. It's all different, and it's a function of your leg length and your back and the contours of your back, and if I were to put sensors, maybe 100 sensors into all of your chairs right now, I could create an index that's fairly unique to you, sort of like a fingerprint.
So what could we do with this?
Researchers in Tokyo are using it as a potential anti-theft device in cars. The idea is that the carjacker sits behind the wheel, tries to stream off, but the car recognizes that a non-approved driver is behind the wheel, and maybe the engine just stops, unless you type in a password into the dashboard to say, "Hey, I have authorization to drive."
Maybe, if we aggregated the data, we could identify telltale signs that best predict that a car accident is going to take place in the next five seconds. And then what we will have datafied is driver fatigue, and the service would be when the car senses that the person slumps into that position, automatically knows, hey, set an internal alarm that would vibrate the steering wheel, honk inside to say, "Hey, wake up, pay more attention to the road." These are the sorts of things we can do when we datafy more aspects of our lives.
What is the value of big data?
One of the most impressive areas where this concept is taking place is in the area of machine learning. Machine learning is a branch of artificial intelligence, which itself is a branch of computer science. The general idea is that instead of instructing a computer what to do, we are going to simply throw data at the problem and tell the computer to figure it out for itself. And it will help you understand it by seeing its origins.
How does big data analytics revolutionize businesses?
Initially, enterprises made decisions, primarily depending on determinants like experience and intuition. With the evolution of the global market and the introduction of the fast-paced digital transition across all verticals, along with stable solutions and techniques coming to the aid of enterprises, decision-making is now based purely upon analysis, data, reports, and records, against traditional intuition.
Big data analytics has been a significant revelation for enterprises since it has strengthened the principles of business enterprises. Enterprises now acknowledge the benefit of the time required before developing marketing strategies; enterprises like to conduct in-depth research on the customers to analyze their behavior. This development is a much-needed break from the time when enterprises had to rely on feedback from the customers as the only source of understanding.
As of 2018, more than 50 percent of companies are using big data analytics in their business, which shows tremendous growth as compared to 2015, when the number was only 17 percent.
The inclusion of big data analytics in decision-making has and is still proving to be immensely beneficial for enterprise mobility solutions. Nevertheless, even with the various benefits that it comes with, there are some barriers too. The primary one is that decision making in enterprises was done with experience, knowledge and critical understanding of the business. On an entirely new level, it is still hard for enterprises to adjust to the fact that all the decisions would now materialize based on logistics and analytics. Anyway, gathering and analyzing customer information and using big data is now providing enterprises with the capability to transform the way they make out-of-the-box decisions significantly.
There are dark sides to big data as well.
It will improve our lives, but there are problems that we need to be conscious, privacy for instance. Privacy was the central challenge in a small data era. In the big data age, however, the challenge will be safeguarding free will, moral choice, human volition, human agency.
Big data is going to transform how we live, how we work and how we think. It is going to help us manage our careers and lead lives of satisfaction and hope and happiness and health, but in the past, we have often looked at information technology and our eyes have only seen the T, the technology, the hardware, because that's what was physical. We now need to recast our gaze at the I, the information, which is less apparent, but in some ways a lot more important. Humanity can finally learn from the information that it can collect, as part of our timeless quest to understand the world and our place in it, and that's why big data is a big deal.