So… what is big data? Wikipedia (the fountain of crowd-sourced definitions) states… Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Challenges include analysis, capture, data curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, querying and information privacy.

Well that wasn’t very helpful was it!

Here are some real world uses:

The first recorded use of big data comes from the 1500’s when a doctor kept track of where patients were living and worked. This data was used to correlate the inception point of a disease based on addresses (as people typically in London didn’t live far from where they worked). This allowed the doctor to theorize (correctly) disease outbreaks were not just random acts of God, but had common factors.

Jumping to more recent times, one of our customers used their phone system call records to more appropriately staff, based on call volumes, allowing them to reallocate that money for technology to better serve their customers’ needs.

Farmers now use GPS data combined with real time analytics, 4G cellular modems and cloud computing to deliver the EXACT amount of pesticide needed rather than flooding a field with poison hoping it’s enough that the crop still comes in.

Finally, another customer, uses big data to determine the exact amount of network resources needed per device including LAN/WAN bandwidth, to reduce jitter, latency and network spend. Recently this same customer used VX Suite (one of our suppliers) to isolate a problem causing slow internet speeds. Their supplier could tell them, the internet pipe is full (buy more, translation: $$), but they couldn’t tell him WHY it was slow. VX Suite provided the insight to isolate and correct a network problem so his MSP could correct the issue.

To quote Sherlock Holmes, “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

Hopefully these big data ideas have given you some ideas.

What, in your business, could be improved upon?