Big Data Means Nothing If It Isn’t Smart

Big data has been the tech industry’s favorite buzzword for the past few years — and for good reason. Every website you visit, social page you “like” or “follow,” and wearable tech that you update is collecting data about your behaviors. For some, your car is building a database for your insurance company about when, where and even why you speed. And that implanted medical device that is saving your life? Yep, it’s also helping researchers better understand human habits when it comes to following the advice of doctors (surprise: we aren’t very good at it).

Every day, we collectively create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. Over the last two years, technology has enabled us to create 90% of the world’s data. Those two facts alone mean one thing: the amount of data we currently have is really, really big — and it’s growing really, really quickly.

So, when marketers started to use the term big data back in 2012, it was only because “big” was the only honest way to describe it. The data collected about users on Facebook or Twitter or Google was overwhelming — but every CMO wanted to get to the bottom of it, figure out a way to make it affect the bottom line. The answer was in there, amongst all that data, a lot of it seemingly junk. The problem was how to get it out.

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