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How Consumers Are Using Big Data

24th Mar `14, 01:21 PM in Resources

A new wave of consumer applications is putting big data at everyone’s fingertips. Large organizations have harnessed the…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

A new wave of consumer applications is putting big data at everyone’s fingertips.

Large organizations have harnessed the power of data analytics for some time. But consumer services are finding more ways to use business intelligence to benefit individuals. Sites like Amazon, Pandora and Netflix kicked off the trend, using sophisticated business intelligence to understand and recommend things we may like to buy, listen to, or watch.

Newer services let consumers see how their fitness activity compares with millions of others, or whether their fertility patterns are normal or worrisome. Users of a certain app can tell at a glance whether it would be cheaper to fly to Milan or London over spring break. Civic apps and sites, meanwhile, make it possible to chart the spread of flu across the U.S. and to see which neighborhoods have the worst potholes in town.

One thing that makes this all possible is the growing availability of large public and private information sources. Government agencies and companies like Facebook Inc., FB +0.40% Google Inc. GOOG -1.18% and Twitter Inc. TWTR +1.60% offer APIs—application programming interfaces—that allow other software makers to access and use their data.

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