Big data is an overarching term used to describe the large volume of information that rapidly evolving technologies now allow us to collect and analyze.
Because big data covers such a wide range of categories across practically every industry – from government agencies and healthcare organizations to banks and manufacturers – it can be difficult for non-data scientists to comprehend. To simplify the concept of big data, we often segment it into smaller categories; for example: smart data, identity data, and people data.
While it’s impressive how much big data we are now capable of gathering, the real significance lies in what we do with it. Using big data effectively can lead to improvements in cost-savings, efficiency, productivity, decision making, and problem solving. We’re keeping an eye on the following important big data trends as we head into 2019.
Combining data with predictive analytics can produce powerful results, helping diverse industries create solutions to help people and strengthen organizations. In healthcare, for instance, analyzing medical histories, patient profiles, and other factors could help doctors predict likely outcomes for specific diseases. Or in retail settings, big data could help businesses forecast customer behaviors and sales patterns to anticipate how many products to order for a busy season.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, allowing individuals and organizations to connect and combine big data from myriad devices, apps, cloud services, and sensors. The industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in particular will offer new opportunities. Connected, data-driven devices will advance solutions to improve labor efficiency, optimize assets, and maximize warehouse space.
Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) can help companies understand their customers on a deeper level. A recent report from Forrester predicts that AI-powered marketing will foster a new era of “hyper-personalized” experiences and help marketers handle challenges related to budget limitations, talent shortages, and data and analytics.
Chatbots – automated online concierges – are increasingly valuable customer service tools for businesses. Chatbots provide instant assistance to customers, answering questions and offering helpful information, while freeing up human workers to do more advanced tasks. Not only do chatbots collect and analyze data, they can also leverage that data to improve their level of service and gather better data in the future.
All companies are vulnerable to cyberattacks and must take protective measures to reduce the risk of data breaches. The demand for cybersecurity will continue to grow in the future, and big data will enable advancements in solutions such as firewalls, data encryption, and employee monitoring and intrusion detection systems.
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