Big Data From the 3 ‘V’s to the 3 ‘O’s

Big Data – From the 3 ‘V’s to the 3 ‘O’s

Let us take a look at some of the “recent” happenings around us.

Google – Driver less Cars:  We all know that Google has been experimenting with driver less cars for a while now.  Let me quote some statistics: Four states in the U.S.A have allowed testing of driver less cars on their roads (Nevada, California, Florida and Michigan) and these cars have already completed running 1.1 Million Kilometers (or 700,000 miles).
This could mean better utilization of road space and possibly safer travel.  Also, for the first time, automobile insurers have to wear their “thinking cap” to visualize insurance for vehicles without drivers – because since the days of the horse drawn carriages, men have been in the drivers’ seat 🙂

Facebook – Marital Bliss?  I came across an article in Facebook that talks about Mark Zuckerberg, in 2010 wondering about the ability of Facebook to predict a divorce or a breakup a full week before the shocked (or surprised!) partner would know about it!

  • Are you busy chatting with another girl instead of your girlfriend?
  • Are you being tagged a lot with the same person?
  • Who are you viewing regularly?
  • Who is newly single?
  • Who do you go to parties with?

Well, with all these details, would it be that hard to predict?
Add to this fact that every minute of the day, about 700,000 pieces of content are shared on Facebook, almost 8 new users log on to the internet every second and social media use has increased in the US by 356% since 2006, (  With so much more data, should we still wonder if Facebook can predict right?

Knewton – Personalized Education:  
In the USA, many students cite the high cost of education as the reason they drop out from schools.  At private for-profit schools, 78% of attendees fail to graduate after six years compared with a dropout rate of 45% for students in public colleges, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
Among 18 to 34 year old without a college degree, 48% of those surveyed
said they simply couldn’t afford to go to college. Yet 86% of college graduates say that college was a good investment for them personally. The data tells us that staying in school matters. But it also tells us that finishing school is hard.
Enter Knewton – which personalizes education for EVERY student.  Arizona State University, which is the largest public university with over 72,000 students tested Knewton on 2000 students over two semesters.  Pass rates improved from 64% to 75% and withdrawal rates dropped by 56%.  Knewton was able to achieve this by understanding what kind of teaching worked for each student and deliver customized training.

Intel and MJF – Healthcare:   Historically, doctors have collected data about Parkinson’s patients only during medical exams. Because symptoms can vary from one minute to the next, such exams may not provide an accurate picture of a patient’s health. By combining low-cost devices with data collection, researchers will now be able to analyze “patient gait, tremors and sleep patterns, among other metrics.
Intel and the Michael J. Fox Foundation are working together on a project combining wearable devices and Big Data to gain better insight into Parkinson’s disease.  With Apple’s smartwatches and smartphones in general increasingly collecting health data, there is a huge opportunity for healthcare in the USA (and the world over) to improve preventive healthcare, get better with critical treatments at a cost that would be much cheaper.

Many Websites – Targeted Advertisements:  You want to plan a holiday to the Key West. You browse a few websites, looking for deals.  You find a great deal, reserve and take your vacation.  You come back to work and log on to the internet. Have you noticed the ads?  Irrespective of the websites you browse, do you see ads for “great vacation deals” popping up?  This is nothing but Big Data at work.
Instead of ads that would make no sense to you popping up, we are in an age where ads are customized – based on your browsing history.  This simply makes more sense to business.  What is more – these ads are served automatically by software – with little to no manual intervention.
I could go on and on with numerous other examples.  The point I want to make is simply this:  Even before you want to go on a vacation, “Big Data” knows where you might go!  Even before you get hitched to someone, “Big Data” knows!  “Big Data” knows where you may be, at any given time, what your pulse rate is and the likelihood of a baseball player hitting the next ball for a home run!
Big Data traditionally has been all about Velocity, Volume and Variety.  But, considering the examples, you feel Big data all round you (omnipresent), with immense power (omnipotent – driven by the amount of information “it” has about you) and knows what your next move would be (omniscient) and funnily, it lives in the cloud!  
Now, what is Big Data? 🙂

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