Big data is transforming entire industries and redefining how humans interact with companies and each other. It’s changing how we work, live, eat, sleep and play. We think the following innovations are big data at its most innovative, insightful and inspiring.

Real-World Impacts on Business and Life

Big data is reshaping nearly every aspect of healthcare, which of course represents nearly a fifth of the U.S. economy. McKinsey has estimated $300-$450 billion in savings – which many regard as a conservative baseline. Evidence-based medicine is changing how patients are diagnosed and often demonstrates that alternative treatments are more effective (and cost-effective) than conventional care. Pharmaceuticals are using real-world signals to track adverse events and focus R&D programs on the medications most likely to succeed. Researchers and epidemiologists map disease outbreaks and break down new bacteria to genetic components to stop viral outbreaks. Smarter screening, more powerful population management, reduced claims fraud, health plans incenting healthier behaviors, more efficient surgery center operations – big data is making for a healthier healthcare system. (And we haven’t even touched on genomic medicine and the advent of personalized medicine.)

Big Data Insights & The Most Recent Big Data Innovations | Teradata
NASA: Unlocking the Secrets of the Universe with big data

NASA: Unlocking the secrets of the Universe with Big Data

Does anyone have more and more interesting data than NASA? These actual rocket scientists use big data – close to an exabyte and counting – to keep hundreds of satellites in the air and fulfill its vision of “reach[ing] for new heights and reveal[ing] the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind. Forget buzz from social media, NASA collects “big bang” data from across the solar system to unlock the secrets of the universe. Like the Square Kilometer Array project, which will aggregate data from tens of thousands of radio telescopes to figure out how the galaxy was formed at the “cosmic dawn.” Not surprisingly, NASA embraces extreme innovation in architecting its storage and data management environment. It applies algorithms to data in tens of thousands of different formats from a range of spacecraft, including unmanned rovers and probes, earth-bound telescopes and observatories around the world – and archives it for future analysis as planetary science progresses.

Data-Driven "Ears" and instinct for the Music Industry

The music industry has long been driven by instinct. Big-bet decisions on which acts to sign and promote were made by executives known for having great “ears” – i.e., an intuitive sense of who would top the charts and who was destined to a be one-hit (or no-hit) wonder. Big data is changing all that. Record companies are pooling and correlating diverse data sets (downloads, social commentary, merchandise sales) and overlaying it with geographic and temporal data (like concert locations and dates and TV appearances). Semantic and text analytics are necessary to understand that “bad” and “sick” are terms of endearment to music fans. But that’s what it takes to identify the next overnight sensation and define non-traditional metrics (like engagement). In other words, the music biz is now partying like a data scientist!

Data-driven ears and instinct for the music industry
utilities: more than just keeping the lights on

Utilities: More than just keeping the lights on

Keeping the lights on – during periods of peak demand and throughout all kinds of weather – is a fundamentally data-driven responsibility for utilities. The State of California uses leverage advanced analytical platforms for situational intelligence and uses powerful visualization and modeling tools to project supply-demand dynamics across the grid. Real-time visibility is critical, because that's when and how people expect to get their electricity. The essential data is huge and diverse – weather forecasts, real-time sensor data, continuous metering. But that is what’s required to optimally balance supply and demand, plug into renewables when necessary and avoid blackouts and service dips.

Nike: Finding new markets

Nike saw big data as a portal into an entirely new market. As strong as Nike’s position has been, the “just do it” inspiration of its brand and the quality of its products was likely not enough to strengthen and grow its highly valuable and profitable customer relationships in the future. The data and information streaming from performance tracking and health monitoring wearables was potentially more valuable, providing a closer, more sustainable and constant connection to customers (not to mention loads of high-value data). Big data – a great complement to Nike’s current product portfolio and market positioning was both the ends and means of Nike’s innovation into a new market.

nike: finding new markets
IT security: big data to stop cybercrime

IT Security: Big Data to stop cybercrime

Real-time threat monitoring. Automated information collection and intelligence sharing. Smarter links between myriad security systems and layers (including physical protections). A continuous and real-time loop of monitoring data and behavioral signals. Many cybersecurity experts believe these are the necessary and useful weapons to combat the scourge of data breaches. So-called “security analytics” would allow systems to automatically adjust their risk profile (i.e., go on high alert) once any system in the “threat intelligence network” detects a threat — be it malware, a rogue peripheral or suspicious log activity.

What's Next With Big Data

Who’s Winning with Big Data Now

Hear customer examples of how big data analytics involving real-time data  is being used in a variety of businesses ranging from Disney World to disaster relief, from underground mining to a national shoe store chain and a hospital, to improve customer experiences, efficiencies, and logistics, and to lower risks.  Ray Wang of Constellation Research, Martha Bennett of Forrester, Bill Rand of Univ. of Maryland, Carl Olafson of IDC,  and Dan Vesset of IDC all share intriguing stories using big data today.

More Ideas About Big Data

Big Data technologies are changing the world—everything from the Internet of Things to gathering both more qualitative and more quantitative data will lead to better decision-making and insight. By leveraging Big Data technologies effectively, organizations can be more efficient and more competitive. Hear Ray Wang of Constellation Research, Martha Bennett of Forrester, Bill Rand of Univ. of Maryland, and Dan Vesset of IDC share their thoughts on Big Data today.