Big Data Is Not Just About Watching Us Shop


Jaw-dropping! Over 35 hours of uploaded YouTube videos per minute, 12 terabytes of tweets and 2.5 quintillion bytes of information per day – the world’s data is growing at an unprecedented rate. IBM says that 90% of it has been created in the last two years alone.

Yes, some of it is harvested to track our buying habits and length of time in the store and online, raising some privacy concerns. But Big Data is not just another euphemism for Big Brother. It’s been pushing forward scientific discovery for years and it’s being used by governments to improve security and public services.

Greg Nugent, Brand and Marketing Director, London2012, and a speaker at ADMA’s  upcoming Fusion event, says that data was fundamental in the lead up to the Olympics.

“For around three years we had some very heavy polling techniques in play to help us read what was going on,” Greg says. “This helped us strategically on two critical levels: we were able to constantly read the public mood around the Games and on top of that we were able to analyse other key things happening that could impact support figures for the Games.”

Cloud and Big Data are still driving the Human Genome Research, a $3 billion project which took more than a decade to complete. Soon the computation of a 100 gigabyte genome could be squeezed into an afternoon and cost just a few hundred dollars.

Google has donated 20 million CPU hours to help researchers protect the world’s forests. Its Google Earth Engine combines world satellite imagery, tools and parallel processing power.

And here’s how IBM helps this Danish green energy company reduce the processing time from 3 weeks down to 15 minutes, as well as cut server energy consumption. Way to go, Big Data!

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