Why use Big Data?
As defined by IBM, ‘Big Data’ is an opportunity to explore new and ‘intelligent’ decisions. This data is collected from social media posts, digital pictures, GPS signals, purchase transactions, and more. Data journalist such as David McCandless visualizes the data to reveal patterns and connections.
This field is booming with analysts discovering statistics that change our view. In Hans Rosling’s TED talk, he explores global trends in order to “debunk” myths with statistical evidence. As stated by Rosling, information needs to be more accessible because it has the potential to change the quality of the information itself. ‘Big Data’ is used as a way to inform individuals and businesses on the most intelligent choice that uses statistical evidence instead of intuition. In ‘Just-in-time’ descriptive analytics, Kandogan intelligently explains that visualization techniques coupled with analytic techniques allows the structure of the data be understood easier. Although Kandogan reports on how to observe statistical trends and patterns by seeing where the ‘data-points’ lie on the graph, this isn’t ground breaking information that will be significant to a business. I now know what ‘Big Data’ is and many of these articles explain how to read the structure of data but in a business, one needs to be ready to explain something that another person is not familiar with at all.
It’s all a story
Innovators such as Hans Rosling were using big data to move forward as I researched more. What was his appeal? He told a captivating story of why and how the data looked; he stayed away from statistical terms but engaged every member of the audience to understand his research. Kristain Hammond from the Harvard Business Review insists that a narrative that gives context to data is more valuable than the data itself. As Hammond asserts, communicating what the data means provides useful insights for businesses and individuals to make the best decisions.
To supplement Hammond’s view with formal research, the Journal of Statistics Education published an article that highlights students develop a conceptual depth and inferential thoughts. The research argues in favor of stories as verbal clarification in order for the audience to ingest the information. My research has led to me to explore the building blocks of data-driven story telling to help everyone in the business understand.
My research felt incomplete and I needed to find out how would this launch a business forward. From what I’ve written before, ‘Big Data’ is changing how we learn and express the information but what is new in the field of ‘Big Data’?
No longer ‘Lost in Translation’, ‘Big Data’ isn’t only for the sophisticated researchers such as Hans Rosling. Today and in the future, everyone has the capacity to become informative and contribute to their business. In Mona Patel’s article, she points out data is easily accessible for even small businesses today. Businesses ask their own questions and explore different views that could be extremely beneficial, as Patel evaluated. The ability to explore new viewpoints is transcending beyond internet advertisements.
Jeffrey Hammerbacher is using his experience to combine genetic information with the medical histories to build more sophisticated models of biology and health outcomes. He once worked as a data analyst for internet advertising, today he aspires to move medicine in the direction of a quantitative discipline. His talents are helping medical research evolve. Jake Porway also has used his skills in order to social issues and real world problems. His mission is to collaborate an understanding and insight through data in order to serve humanity.
How are Hammerbacher and Porway changing business? They are addressing issues beyond internet advertisement. They are solving real-world problems. Their innovative businesses and projects add value to our transforming society. In my conclusion from the research I found, these innovators are explaining what they see from the data collected. They translate their ideas and views to their teams in order to focus on a singular goal of solving the world’s problems.