We all know that big data is a powerful resource. In the minds of many, however, automated data capture and analysis techniques seem like little more than tools for big business – a means of streamlining processes and maximising profits. While big data is indeed useful from a business perspective, we’re only just beginning to realise its true potential in manifold other applications – from improving the quality of UK healthcare to helping charities spend their money wisely and effectively. Here are just a few applications of big data that could help to change the world in future – just watch this space…
Perfecting civic planning
The global population is exploding, and if automatic data projections are to be believed (and let’s face it, they probably are), we’re likely to hit a worldwide population ceiling of around 10 billion people by 2050. Experts believe that the world’s resources can in fact sustain this many people, but if they’re going to live in comfort, we’re going to need to use our space much more wisely in years to come. Automated data capture and analysis techniques can be used to map human behavioural patterns and design buildings, infrastructures and even whole cities around those patterns – anyone who has caught London’s Northern Line at rush hour will know how badly it’s needed!
Solving societal problems
Overpopulation isn’t the only problem facing the world’s governments, however. As the 21st century draws on, scientists and politicians are becoming increasingly concerned with issues including poverty and hunger, illnesses like malaria, AIDs and cancer and environmental concerns like climate change and the scarcity of global resources. Many see big data as a potential saviour for these pressing worldwide issues, and even now, supercomputers are being used to map potential future outcomes using masses of data collected using automated data capture techniques. With enough information and enough processing power, supercomputers can literally predict the future and change the world for the better.
Pushing the boundaries of science
The next era of scientific discovery will be driven by data capture technologies and big data analysis. The research projects at CERN and OPERA are already using big data to change the way we look at the universe, while healthcare institutions are close to mapping the entire human genome for less than $1,000 – all thanks to the power of data. With data capture and analysis technologies evolving at such a rapid rate, expect the next few decades to be a time of great scientific research and discovery.
We’re only now beginning to fully comprehend the potential of the masses of data that are already at our fingertips, and in future, this wealth of information will allow us to make great strides towards improving society for everyone. If you’re looking to make use of the power of data yourself this year, take a look at our innovative, flexible data capture solutions and ensure that you’re on even ground to make a difference in 2013.