How Data Has A Place In Every Industry

Saturday, April 7, 2018

How Data Has A Place In Every Industry

Anyone going to a retail industry conference these days would be forgiven for think they must’ve taken a wrong turn. The names that appear at such functions include some that seem, at first, to be really out of place, such as Microsoft, IBM and Google. The same names are showing more and more at other industries’ events, too. Why?

Big data has quickly become a driving force across a range of professions. From handling loss prevention to building a marketing dashboard, a wide array of trades are embracing the tech revolution and trying to get the most out of their data. Let’s explore a few examples from several industries.


One of the earliest industries to adopt big data system was healthcare. Faced with rising costs and continuing demands for better treatment options, healthcare has turned to big data in a big way. Data sources are being mined in innovative ways, such as the use of Twitter to track the flu, allowing researchers to get out in front of potential pandemics.


While the retail industry, especially at the levels of small- and medium-sized businesses, has been somewhat slower to adopt, they also happen to have access to one of the bigger treasure troves of data. Who new sectors of the industry have emerged, in fact, such as the arrival of companies that provide highly personalized experiences based on what algorithms say meets a particular customer’s taste profile. Even sectors in retail that aim to stick with older business models are benefiting, such as brick-and-mortar stores that are using big data to track thefts, customer interactions and sales. Big box retailers are using information gathered from sales systems to calculate when to begin rolling out seasonal products. Down the operation of individual cash registers, companies are trying to come up with ways to make the consumer experience more efficient and pleasant.

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One might not think first of farmers when they consider the impact of big data in the world, but the industry is increasingly leaning on analytics systems to try hard to feed the world’s massive population. Squeezing maximum crop yields out of an area is critical in a business where one has to weather the bad years by making the most of the good years. The question of whether the next two billion people to be born with face starvation or live at a higher standard may boil down to whether data systems can deal with major questions related to climate change, rainfall patterns and macroeconomic trends. Something as simple as being able to monitor the moisture content of the soil more accurately may turn a failed crop into a profit.


Anyone who has been stuck in traffic has likely had questions about what precisely the road builders were thinking when they put a certain set of exits in a specific spot. Addressing problems like highway congestion or subway schedules is a problem that can be surprisingly complex to solve. Fixing today’s challenge may only lead to tomorrow’s disasters, as planner fall short of keeping up with development. On the upside, policymakers and contractors have access to better information than ever before.


Few professions are under as much pressure to make the most out of every dollar as education is. What educators have learned by using big data can be surprising. For example, it may be better to schedule math classes after gym classes because students perform better after they’ve exercised.

The big data revolution is just beginning to come into full bloom, and for a lot of organizations, that means there’s plenty of low hanging fruit still out there. With a concerted push to develop a more analytics-friendly culture, any company can become more competitive and efficient. In fact, a firm may arrive at a whole new business model.

By  Robert Cordray Embed

About the Author - Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. He currently resides in the Southern California area and spends his time helping consumers and business owners alike try to be successful. When he’s not reading or writing, he’s most likely with his beautiful wife and three children.


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