I Like Big Data and I Cannot Lie

First, let me show you how big data is shaping the planet and influencing the entire population…


RETAIL Let’s talk about the success of one of my favourite brands: NIKE

Nike revolutionised the apparel industry by using big data as a gateway to an an entirely new market. This was done through their successful launch of Nike+, a platform that allows people to monitor their activity and progress and share achievements with friends, totally transforming the simple sport of running into a ‘data driven pursuit of social standing and a healthier lifestyle’.  Nike is one of the most innovative companies, especially in the retail industry, successfully experimenting with smart technology and big data to gain a competitive advantage with increased data access and connection with consumers.

Check out this video!

Cool right?

So what have they done: The company is an innovator in wearable devices which add a layer of intelligence to items. Using these smart sports devices increases the volume of data and information that Nike can access. This high-value data is used to predict new trends, shifts, niches and gaps in the market. The performance tracking and health monitoring wearbales provide data that is a more sustainable and constant connection to customers as well.

Not only has it revolutionised the retail industry, but big data is helping advancement in all sorts of feilds!..

HEALTHCARE Big data is reshaping many aspects of healthcare, including costs, how patients are diagnosed and treated with evidence based medicine (being more effective and cost-effective), signals and tracking to understand and predict success of medications, mapping and preventing (stopping the spread of) outbreaks, as well as smarter screening, more powerful population management, reduced claims fraud, health plans incenting healthier behaviors, more efficient surgery center operations and over all making healthcare healthier!

SECURITY Big data allows for real-time threat monitoring and automated information collection and intelligence sharing. Essentially once a threat was detected in the intelligence network, systems automatically “go on high alert”. This allows for greater protection, continuous smarter data monitoring and behavioural signals and prevention of data breaches.

DISCOVERY NASA uses big data in their hopes of ‘unlocking the secrets of the universe’, such as how the galaxy was formed at the “cosmic dawn.” They keep hundreds of satellites in the air, apply complex algorithms to data and monitor and store it from various rovers, probes, earth-bound telescopes and observatories around the world to analyse in the future.

ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment industry, is usually based on instinct, such as the music industry. Based on what sounds right, people may be referred to as having ‘a good ear’, meaning an intuitive sense of potential hits and stars or in contrast a flop. With big data, information such as downloads, social commentary, merchandise sales and more are being correlated with data like concert locations and dates and TV appearances etc. Essentially this data removes the guessing work and can understand what would be hot right now or not thanks to evidence based technology.


The digital world seems to be ever expanding and taking over all aspects of life, bringing rise to the term: The Internet of Things (IoT). This is a computing concept that describes a future where everyday physical objects will be connected to the Internet and be able to identify themselves to other devices.

Information technology has transformed in leaps and bounds especially in recent years, allowing for the Big Data movement.

Big data is often associated with new technology companies, as being very technical and specialized, when in fact big data is useful for all companies and especially for understanding the complex nature of consumers (not just who they are, but what about them, what do they want and how do they make decisions and behave).

Big data is important for all businesses in gaining a competitive advantage and to aid success, as well as revolutionizing the world in feilds of science, discvoery, education and entertainment.

Big data may just be seen as another way of saying ‘analytics’, with Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson describing the big data movement as seeking to ‘glean intelligence from data and translate that into business advantage’. However, there are three key differences:

Volume: There is now more data stored every second than there was stored in the entire internet only 20 years ago! Companies can work with many petabytes of data in a single data set, with a petabyte being equivalent to about 20 million filing cabinets worth of text!!

Velocity: This refers to the speed of data creation that now allows companies access to real-time information, which is needed in such a complex, busy and competitive modern world.

Variety:  Big data provides more information that wasn’t previously accessible and takes the form of messages, updates, and images posted to social networks; readings from sensors; GPS signals from cell phones, and more!

So not only is big data referring to the sheer volume of data generated, but to the increasingly sophisticated methods of computer analysis that can be applied to gain insights which can drive efficiency and progress.

Digital based companies that rely on data analytics such as Google, have seen great success from big data and advanced analytics. However, big data is also responsible for many breakthroughs and advancements in various aspects of life as illustrated earlier.

Wearable technology, the way of the future? 

What has Big Data been responsible for influencing in your own life?

What is the biggest contribution Big Data has made to the world so far?

How do you think Big Data will continue to revolutionise the digital world? – What do you hope it will bring?