Our post for last month covered some of the trends can expect from Big Data and analytics in 2015. In this post we look out another 5 years and glimpse at how Big Data will impact our day-to-day lives.

With more devices connected to the Internet than ever before, we are generating in excess of 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every single day! This data includes not just Internet traffic, but feedback from automated traffic monitors, financial and legal transactions, file sharing and even global climate data that track earthquakes, polar ice migration and weather patterns. All this data has huge implications for every industry. From commercial to education to manufacturing and even humanitarian efforts. Never before have we been able to create, organize, and analyse large sets of data which can provide incredibly powerful new quality of life improvement opportunities. By using advanced database management technologies such as Apache and Hadoop, companies, universities, governments, and medical organizations are looking beyond just their bottom lines to find exciting new ways to improve our quality of life.

An interesting application is in the field of adaptive learning intended for upper elementary grades. McGraw-Hill Education is developing digital curriculum and course materials that take data gathered from 2 million students and uses artificial intelligence to create an adaptive learning experiences tailored to individual student needs. As a student reads and answers questions, the system tracks what the student doesn’t know and then presents that material. The system knows what questions to ask, and in what order, to maximize long-term retention. This type of adaptive learning process will enable teachers to better understand the progress of their students and thus be more effective in the classroom.

Here are 7 key areas of our day-to-day lives that we expect will be dramatically enhanced by 2020 through the use of Big Data:

1. Better Healthcare
It is estimated that close to 80% of medical data is unstructured and difficult to correlate and cross reference. By leveraging Big Data, the healthcare industry could significantly improve their ability to anticipate health threats based on people’s activities.
2. Improved Access To Higher Education
In the learning arena, Big Data will play a huge role for people unable to attend higher educational institutions. It will usher in affordable online classes and allow people to get their degrees thereby enhancing job prospects.
3. Finding A Job
Aside from Big Data helping people get educated, it will also play a much bigger role in helping someone actually land a job. Prospective employees will have access to sophisticated new databases to determine if their specific skills are in demand, and which companies are hiring for positions best matching their profile.
4. Safer Roads
Car manufacturers are aggressively developing fully autonomous cars and hoping to have them commercially available in the next 5-10 years. The driving impetus is a belief that roads will be much safer if human input is reduced to a minimum, since computers can be programmed to drive more carefully by analysing vast amounts of data instantaneously before making decisions.
5. Predicting Weather
Weather is ever-changing and can be extremely difficult to predict accurately. Despite our best current models, high risk storm warnings often come just hours before they create massive damage. Through the use of Big Data, researchers will have much more advanced weather pattern models making it easier to predict when a storm will hit, thus allowing evacuation warnings to be issued earlier.
6. Safer Websites
Big Data will deliver better scalability and performance for website security and information management. In 2012/13 it was estimated that that over 60 percent of website owners had no clue that they were hacked, and of those that were, 90 percent of them did not even notice unusual activity on their site. New Big Data driven machine-learning algorithms will be able to recognize patterns of fraudulent behaviour and pro-actively protect owners from unwanted access.
7. Improved Business Intelligence
Businesses, both large and small, will be able to leverage more data from various sources to make faster and more accurate measurements and better analyse this data to make sense of consumer behaviour, buying patterns, competitive threats and improve their own operations.
These improvements that Big Data will usher into our lives by the end of this decade are just the tip of the iceberg. Big Data is already being used to fight crime, improve Web security, and even predict disasters(both economic and natural) long before they actually occur.

The team at WhoIsHostingThis.com created this visually impactful infographic below called “7 Ways Big Data Could Revolutionize Life by 2020”.

Credits: The infographic was sourced from http://www.whoishostingthis.com/blog/2013/12/05/big-data-2020/
cartoon from Andertoons