Big Data is not scary nor Draconian nor Orwellian – here’s 10 useful applications that help us all – from Lady Gaga to premature babies.

Big Data Cement Head

Big Data Can (if used correctly) Actually Improve Our Lives


  1. The FBI is combining data from social media, CCTV cameras, phone calls and texts to track down criminals and predict the next terrorist attack.
  2. Supermarkets are combining their loyalty card data with social media information to detect and leverage changing buying patterns. For example, it is easy for retailers to predict that a woman is pregnant simply based on the changing buying patterns. This allows them to target pregnant women with promotions for baby related goods.
  3. Facebook is using face recognition tools to compare the photos you have up-loaded with those of others to find potential friends of yours (see Bernard Marr’s post on how Facebook might exploit your private information using big data tools).
  4. Politicians are using social media analytics to determine where they have to campaign the hardest to win the next election.
  5. Video analytics and sensor data of Baseball or Football games is used to improve performance of players and teams. For example, you can now buy a baseball with over 200 sensors in it that will give you detailed feedback on how to improve your game.
  6. Artists like Lady Gaga are using data of our listening preferences and sequences to determine the most popular playlist for her live gigs.
  7. Google’s self-driving car is analyzing a gigantic amount of data from sensor and cameras in real time to stay on the road safely.
  8. The GPS information on where our phone is and how fast it is moving is now used to provide live traffic up-dates.
  9. Companies are using sentiment analysis of Facebook and Twitter posts to determine and predict sales volume and brand equity.
  10. A hospital unit that looks after premature and sick babies is generating a live steam of every heartbeat. It then analyses the data to identify patterns. Based on the analysis the system can now detect infections 24hrs before the baby would show any visible symptoms, which allows early intervention and treatment.T

This is an excerpt from :  Big Data: The Mega-Trend That Will Impact All Our Lives, Marr, B. (2013) Linkedin Update August 27  Bernard Marr is Founder and CEO, The Advanced Performance Institute

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See also:

IBM Decipher Your Personality From 200 Of Your Tweets (part 1/2)


Social Listening Skills (part 1/2) – the old marketing ship is sinking


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