7 Ways Big Data Could Revolutionize Life By 2020
As humanity moves more and more of its business, entertainment, and communication online, we also generate exponentially larger amounts of data with each passing year. So much, in fact, that we have trouble keeping track of all of it, let alone organizing or analyzing it. Welcome to the age of Big Data, where today’s exabytes of information will soon be as quaint as the floppy discs of yesteryear.
Although its origins are somewhat murky, the impact of Big Data has become crystal clear. With more devices connected to the Internet than ever before, humanity is generating about 2.5 quintillion bytes every day. This data includes not just Internet traffic, but feedback from automated traffic monitors, financial and legal transactions, and even global climate technology that tracks earthquakes, polar ice and weather events.
All this information is a potential goldmine for commercial, educational and humanitarian efforts, and the need to create, organize, and analyze large sets of data has become much more than a simple buzzword flying through the electronic ether—Big Data is big business. Companies specializing in handling Big Data have sprung up seemingly overnight to meet the challenges—and take maximum advantage of the opportunities—presented by the global swell of information. Using advanced database management technology such as Apache™ Hadoop®, companies, universities, governments, and medical organizations are looking beyond the mere harvesting of information to improve their bottom lines or improve efficiency.
With Big Data, it’s possible to coordinate huge swaths of data that can help us better understand complex phenomena like weather and traffic. And properly aggregated and analyzed, large sets of data can give us the ability to reduce the cost of education (thanks to the power of large-scale, high-volume information delivery across the ‘Net), boost efficiency and productivity by eliminating needless redundancy and errors, and even improve the job market thanks to correlated data sets that actively match job hunters with employers eagerly seeking their specific skills.
And that’s just the tip of the information iceberg. With research already underway to use Big Data to fight crime, improve Web security, and even predict disasters (both economic and natural) long before they actually occur, big changes in the way we live are likely to keep coming as our data—and our mastery of its intricacies—continues to grow.
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