Big Data: Pushing the Boundaries of Knowledge
Although data has existed for thousands of years, the technological advances that have allowed us to generate unfathomable amounts of it have left us with the term big data. Big data refers to the increasing amount of information produced and stored each day through mediums such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and other forms of machinery. It is said that every two days, humans create as much data as they did from the beginning of time until 2000 (Marr, 1). In recent years, harnessing this data has shown us its potential in making advances in areas like marketing, health care, sports, and finance. Big data enables predictions to be made with significant accuracy based on all previous events in a specified area.
Handling big data has been a part of almost every topic covered in MIS2502. Through the use of SQL in dealing with databases, we were working with a form of data storage. The ability to create, update, and destroy the database was giving us the opportunity to see a simpler form of storing big data. When we entered the realm of R and RStudio, we began to analyze the data itself. Using tools such as clusters and decision trees, it was now possible for us to understand the relationships within the data and how it can be used to predict future outcomes. This specific topic is valuable in the business world, as understanding customers’ decisions and the reasons they choose to do certain things aids in the success of a company.
Big data, in practice, can solve many issues for companies. An example that I found interesting was that of a wireless carrier company using big data to solve a customer service issue (Twogood 1). For some reason, customers were calling frequently right after making an online payment. After analyzing collective data, the company realized that customers were afraid that their service would be interrupted due to late payment. They saved the cost of each customer service call by implementing a system that displayed a message ensuring that customers would have no delay in service.
Marr, Bernard. “What Is Big Data? A Super Simple Explanation for Everyone.” BernardMarr.com, www.bernardmarr.com/default.asp?contentID=766.
Twogood, Chris. “ What Is Big Data? A Super Simple Explanation for Everyone.” Data Points, blogs.teradata.com/data-points/big-data-examples-from-global-brands/.