We see so much information written about "Big Data" and all the complexity that goes into it. Reading countless articles on the subject can cause someone's eyes to glaze over, and we sometimes lose touch of the idea that all this data can be used not just informatively, but also in fun ways that affect our everyday lives. Regardless of what you may think, it's not just for data companies to compile boring data.
Here are 4 interestingly fun ways big data has become a part of things we use all the time:
Ski resorts have been using RFID (Radio Frenquency Identification) for a while now instead of the traditional ski lift tickets. Using the RFID, ski resorts can track which lifts are seeing the most activity, and they can use this data to improve user experience by making changes to the lift process by speeding up wait times. Data can also be tracked to show a specific skiing activity, which can also be viewed on a smartphone, making it possible for metrics like total runs for the day, time on the slopes, and overall skiing progress to be analyzed. Pretty cool stuff for the avid or even new skier.
Understanding what consumers want is an important part to any industry, but possibly even more so when it comes to television. People aren't just watching cable -- they're online streaming on-demand sources like Netflix and Hulu, and just about every network has some form of these services. All the shows watched on your PC, SmartTV or Smart Device are tracked, and this data is used to offer content that's specific to the user, all in an effort to deliver a better experience for the show you want to see. It is, of course, also used to deliver ads for content on related purchases you might be interested in. Not everything is totally "free" right?
Food is a passion, and all you foodies and enthusiasts out there might find this interesting. IBM has introduced what they call "computational creativity." This technology can analyze thousands of recipes and understand things like dish composition and ingredient pairings to come up with new recipes that chefs can try. In an age where unique food ideas can be hard to come by, data has found a way to help create new ideas that have never been thought of before.
I'm sure everyone who has traveled across the country or globe has had to rent a car at some point in time. With so many rental car companies to choose from, keeping both customer service and product quality at a highest level is very important for repeat business. Well, Hertz gathers and analyzes information using an IBM Content Analytics sofware. What this software does is quickly analyze thousands and thousands of customer comments that are submitted via email or phone. This information, whether good or bad, is helpful, and Hertz is able to use this data to make improvements such as creating faster rental and return processes. Data is also used to show which customers request call backs from Managers to help resolve any issues during the rental process.
So while some people may not be "into" Big Data, it's important to realize that it's all around us, and it helps to improve the things in our everyday lives that we actually are "into."