Big data can be a confusing term, but it’s really just a broad umbrella category for large amounts of information. These data sets can be analyzed to reveal information regarding trends, associations, patterns, behavior, and can even predict future events/behavior.
Big data is used in many sectors from government to health to education, and as our abilities to analyze data grows, so does our understanding of what big data can do for us.
Before any sort of computational analysis was available, humans spent their lives pouring over data and providing research and recommendations to businesses and governments. This may have been accurate (it may not have been), but it certainly wasn’t as useful as it could be.
That’s where big data analysis comes into play. Computing power gives us the ability to mine trillions of data points and compile them into one place. What we do with the data after that is up to us.
If we can mine the data we need, sort through it, and present it visually, we can use the information to predict storms, end disease, improve our cities and transportation, and even search for life on other planets.
We’ve always had access to big data in theory. But now we can actually put that theory into practice and start using the information to make informed decisions for our businesses, health, countries, institutions of learning, and more.