The concept of big data has been around for years. Most organizations now understand that if they capture all the data that streams into their businesses, they can apply analytics and get significant value from it. But even in the 1950s, decades before anyone uttered the term “big data,” scientists, businesses, and policymakers were using basic analytics (essentially numbers in a spreadsheet that were manually examined) to uncover insights and trends. The new benefits that big data analytics brings to the table, however, are speed and efficiency. Whereas a few years ago one would have gathered information, run analytics and unearthed information that could be used for future decisions, today you can identify insights for immediate decisions. The ability to work faster – and stay agile – gives organizations a competitive edge they didn’t have before.
This innovation has a positive impact not only in companies, but also in government where many agencies are facing the need to tighten budgets without compromising quality or productivity and in the health sector where patient records, health plans, insurance information and other types of information can be managed more efficiently and at lower costs while extracting more information useful for developing preventive measures both for the individual patient as well as for the society at large.