Is big data only for the big companies? No, not at all. Even the little guys can benefit from big data and chances are they are already collecting numerous amounts of data daily. These can be in the form of spreadsheets, documents, programs, accounts, etc. Today, the price to analytical tools had gone down and there is no longer a need to hire PhD scientists to start a big data project. Small companies only need a trained staff to get the work done.
Small companies like Twiddy & Company and Swipely are able to use big data to keep track of their numerous files and documents and keep meticulous records of their data and allow easier access to that data. Twiddy was able to use business analytical tools to customize their spreadsheets to share it with homeowners and contractors. Using big data enabled the company to offer pricing recommendations pinpointed down to the week based on market conditions, trends in season, and the size and location of homes.This allowed them to not only increase sales but cut costs by nearly 15 percent.
When looking for help with implementing big data systems, always remember that it is not a single skill or job title, IT professionals need must have a number of key skills like being able to use analysis tools like MapReduce, Hadoop, Cloudier, MapR and programming skills like Java, Scala, Ruby, or C++ to mention a few.
In the past, T-Mobile allowed you to roll over your minutes, now it is taking a big move to allow you to roll over your data. What does roll over mean? It means that any unused data you have from the previous month will be included in your plan the next month. No more unpaid data going to waste. You will get what you pay for. T-Mobile’s data plans range from 1GB to 11GB. This new change will not affect customers who use unlimited data plans. In addition to whatever plan T-Mobile customers already pay, they will also give their customers 10 free additional gigabytes of data to roll over each month. However, there is a catch, rolled over data will only last a year. In addition, customers do not need to worry about going over their data, T-Mobile has already eliminated their overage fees and instead your phone’s high-speed 4G LTE connection gets pushed back to 2G speeds.
For a hefty sum of $175,000, Oregon State University is offering this amount for big data algorithms. These algorithms are to help marine biologists take and sort over tens of millions of planktons photos. With so many photos, it would take a human nearly two lifetimes to finish but with the help of an algorithm, the time it takes can be decreased immensely. These photos were taken from an expedition in Florida by some of OSU’s marine scientists.
OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center announced their National Data Science Bowl to find the best “big data” approach to help catalog these plankton photos. Those interested in participating have 90 days to come up with an algorithm to sort these photos. Creates of the top three algorithms will then split the $175,000 price winning.
The medical field is a growing field where big data is needed immensely. Throughout the world, in each individual hospital, there are millions upon millions of test results, medial records, patient records, numerous X-rays, etc. This “big data” is what scientists and doctors will use to test and study to improve medical care in the future. UCLA is making plans to use this data to study it more and make improvements. Being able to analyzing big data may help doctors and scientists understand how genes interact with the environment and provide a better understanding of which medical treatments work best for specific populations. UCLAs new research center will take charge in providing training to students and faculty on how to handle big data and hopefully turn them into big data experts.
In the face of constantly growing data sets in biological and medical research, UCLA is planning on opening a new institute, called the Institute for Quantitative and Computational Biosciences, to help scientist make sense of it all. Expected to be announced this coming Tuesday, the institute will illustrate UCLA’s efforts to be at the forefront of implementing big data into scientific research. So far, the university has spent around $50 million on hiring new faculty and acquiring new facilities to create a basis for the institute, which has apparently been in the works for the past five years. At the very least, this new addition to UCLA will keep it academically competitive with other big-name universities that are also looking to implement data science into their research.
By bringing in data scientists to help make sense of their research data, UCLA will be better equipped to study fields such as environmental genetics and large-scale medical research. In addition, the new institute will provide training for researchers that need to work with large data sets, providing them with the tools necessary to utilize things like the University of California Research eXchange, a massive database of health records from patients at the University of California’s medical centers. This news comes shortly after the university received a grant from the National Institute of Health to fund the use of big data in biological research.
Stanford engineers have designed a device that can split light into different colors and bend light at right angles. This device can eventually lead to computers using optics rather than electricity to carry information. The pattern resembles a barcode like structure. When light is shined through the device different wavelengths and colors of light split off at 90 degree angles to the input source.
This advancement is imperative as light can carry more data than a wire, and it takes less energy to transmit. Some light is reflected and some is transmitted as light passes through each medium. With this algorithm researcher can create optical components to perform specific functions.
Using this algorithm from a bioinformatics stand point, it is possible whole genomes can be sequenced. From birth a barcode can be given to the individual and the genome can be scanned to test for mutations to check if any disease exists. Already a company “Ion Torrent” has a chip which enables one to scan their genome for $1000 in just a few hours. The ability to use light to transmit data can be applicable in many disciplines. The future is bright!
While Nike has become very popular for its sport and athletic gear, you may not know that it has become a pioneer for smart, wearable technology like its Nike+ running application and FuelBand fitness tracker that is potential partnership with Apple. FuelBand contain sensors that automatically measure things like your sleep patterns and the number of steps you take each day. Sadly, Nike has plans to discontinue this product but wearable technology is helping it create new ideas.
Since wearable technology involves high tech equipment, Nike is no longer a sneaker and clothing business but has merged itself into the technological industry. Since users can download their applications, it has merged into the software business as well. Nike is also in the business of data management and storage as it must collect and store the information from the deices. Using the data, Nike must provide analysis which puts it in the analytics as a service business. In addition, as the company moves towards using user data relate with health issues and trends, it goes into the health management business as well.
Companies like Nike are now competing directly on analytics with analytic-based products. This blurring of industry lines represents a major change that we can expect to continue in the coming years from not only Nike but other big companies as well.