'Big data', big market

dr.jay jootar

Our world is inundated with massive amounts of data from the Internet. Every minute, according to DOMO, YouTube users upload 48 hours of new videos, Facebook users share 684,478 pieces of content, Twitter users send over 100,000 tweets, and 571 new websites are created. Every minute, billions of smart devices used by people around the world add more and more data to the online world. The rate keeps increasing and shows no signs of slowing down.

From a start-up point of view, this trend creates enormous business opportunities for handling, curating, and processing this massive amount of data.

Google Search is a great example of a business that benefits directly from this trend. In this case, the gargantuan amount of data from websites and their pages from around the world are analysed and indexed for their relevance to keywords used for search. The company even spearheaded new algorithms and data structures that are now loosely referred to as "Big Data" technology for tackling the massive amounts of data we see on the Internet.

There will be tremendous opportunities for using Big Data technology to process various types of information. If used correctly, Big Data technology can help process data quickly, analyse complex patterns intelligently, notify matched patterns to relevant parties promptly, and create a useful and profitable service like Google Search.

Social media analytics is one area that is ripe for growth. Big brands and corporations are increasingly more eager to know how their brands are perceived and discussed by people in the social media. They would like to know what consumers like or dislike about their brands, how they compare their brands with those of competitors, how newly introduced products are creating awareness among target groups, and so on. To this end, Big Data can come in and help them make some sense out of the massive amount of social network data.

Financial institutions now need to process humongous amount of data for a variety of purposes, fraud detection, opportunity identification, credit evaluation, etc. Big Data is becoming increasingly more important as the amount of data is more than the traditional database technology can handle. This represents a great opportunity for start-ups that focus on applying Big Data for the finance world.

Healthcare sectors are also in need of Big Data tools to help them cope with the amount of data they have. We can use the technology to analyse patient records and convert the raw data into meaningful information used by doctors for patient care and by researchers. We can use the technology to analyse data coming from medical devices attached to patients to find patterns that need special and immediate care, especially for patients with diabetes, heart diseases, and so on.

The above examples are just the tip of the iceberg as far as the opportunity for Big Data is concerned. There are also opportunities in applying the technology to geographical information, power utilisation, sensor-based information, call detail records, e-commerce, government information, and so on. Big Data is definitely an area that is ripe with opportunities waiting for tech start-ups to build businesses from.

Posted on The Nation