According to one projection, the sales of big-data-related products and services grew to more than $18 billion in 2013. Companies can now map your genome, find the best fit for clothing, and improve students’ grades, to name a few examples. Consumers, meanwhile, value privacy more than ever.
For harnessing data from its planes and trains to power a new Industrial Internet, potentially saving billions. General Electric is best known for its machine making, but it’s gotten smart and branded itself as a big-data company, too, by pushing its vision for an “Industrial Internet”—the notion that machines should be connected like the web in order to increase efficiency and reduce downtime. In 2012, it launched software to help airlines and railroads move their data to the cloud and partnered with Accenture to form Taleris, a startup that will help airlines predict mechanical malfunctions and reduce flight cancellations. The Abu Dhabi–based Etihad Airways was the first to deploy the tech in November.