But he gradually became convinced that Big Data is a big deal… a case that the technology would have as big an impact on civilization as the Internet itself.
Example of how Big Data can prevent danger before it happens.
It helps to keep in mind not just the notion of sifting through large amounts of data, but also the timing of insights from doing so, Smolan says. Information generated by sensors about approaching cars, for example, is no use in helping a person cross a street safely if it’s even five minutes old. But traffic warnings arriving just before someone steps off a curb could make a life-or-death difference.
Big Data can be used to predict health issues and prevent illnesses.
Data generated by hospital EKGs and intensive care unit monitors, for example, is frequently so voluminous that most of it is thrown away. But researchers who analyzed data from many heart attack victims for the first time identified groups of people that face significantly higher risk of dying from second attacks, enabling potential treatments to keep them alive.
The book also cites a study of data from heartbeats of many newborns–not noticed previously–which discovered patterns that give doctors a 24-hour head start in detecting and fighting infections.
Big Data used to tract daily interactions in a human.
Then there are people who seem determined to use technology to track nearly every aspect of their work, movements and bodily functions.
One example is Gordon Bell, a well-known computer designer and technology researcher who has created a massive electronic record of his life–from his keystrokes and cholesterol to photos automatically shot every few minutes.