The Age of Big Data (NY Times Article)

I have just come up against an interesting article (read HERE) in New York Times about the age of Bid Data which talks about the increasing proliferation of recognizing the value of (Big) Data and the wealth of answers it can provide if harnessed, crunched and analyzed. The media has been generating a lot of hype around Big Data and its impact across all industries and this media piece certainly conforms to this trend but, unlike other releases I have lately read, it also provides a nice, general, example-rich and technically-leveled view on how Big Data and its utilization make headways in todays world.

Virtually every business which want to stay ahead of competition needs to or already has embraced the concept of data and its competitive advantage. As stated in the article, research by Professor Brynjolfsson and two other colleagues, published last year (2011), suggests that data-guided management is spreading across corporate America and starting to pay off. They studied 179 large companies and found that those adopting “data-driven decision making” achieved productivity gains that were 5 percent to 6 percent higher than other factors could explain.

Retailers, like Walmart and Kohl’s, who analyze sales, pricing and economic, demographic and weather data to tailor product selections at particular stores and determine the timing of price markdowns. Shipping companies, like U.P.S., mine data on truck delivery times and traffic patterns to fine-tune routing. Online dating services, like, constantly sift through their Web listings of personal characteristics, reactions and communications to improve the algorithms for matching men and women on dates. Police departments across the country, led by New York’s, use computerized mapping and analysis of variables like historical arrest patterns, paydays, sporting events, rainfall and holidays to try to predict likely crime “hot spots” and deploy officers there in advance.

The abundance of data in its varied form is mind-boggling, so is the insight it can provide given proper “treatment”. The “Data Age” has truly arrived. Data is in the driver’s seat. It’s there, it’s useful and it’s valuable, even hip.

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This entry was posted on Monday, February 13th, 2012 at 2:34 am and is filed under This-and-That. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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