Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"Big Data" is everywhere, just look

Ok so my very first post is on the periphery of mobile.  First, what the heck is big data?  Is it really just a LOT of data?  I guess the short answer is YES.  Here's what Wikipedia says. Very large data sets.

Where do we see this data and what good is it to everyone.  One of the obvious places you'll see this is at Google, Amazon, and any of the other web advertisers.  They collects massive amounts of data about our browsing patterns then analyze this to determine the advertisements you will see or the results you'll get from search or the offeres that Groupon or others will delivery.  Recently I did some searching for add on batteries for my iPhone.  Now I am seeing ads for TAGG accessories regularly.

I drive a Chevy Volt. This car collects a ton of information about itself and your driving patterns.  You can voluntarily subscribe to a site that "gamifies" this information.  You are now compared to all the other Volt owners and can see how you are doing.  It changed the way I drive so that I would move up the list. I might add, those changes were all for the good.  I've slipped to #31  This data is great for me but it also represents an opportunity for others.  How could I use this data to target marketing efforts to Volt owners who obviously work to make their cars as efficient as possible.

Another tool my family uses is the FITBIT Ultra from Fitbit. This little device is a pedometer and much more.  It collects information on my activity level and even works in concert with tools like Endomondo for running, hiking, mountain biking, etc.  Now the system knows what exercises I do, where I do them and how I am doing.  On the Fitbit site I voluntarily track my food intake, weight, heart rate during exercise and more.  What can they do with THIS information.  They can market healthy lifestyle items to me as well as cycling vacations, new bikes and other equipment.  The possibilities are endless.  Link this to the thousands of others and the data they are adding to the system and now you have a LOT of data that give an indication of what is going on within this space.

Big data is everywhere.  The US gov't makes a lot of it available including census information. They have a site dedicated to making this data easily accessible.  This data can be mashed with corporate data, other public data and deliver significant analysis value.

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