Big Data

Real World Applications for Big Data

MAR 28, 2016

In the past few years, Big Data has evolved to be more than a mere IT novelty; today, it’s a necessity. Enterprises that wish to remain competitive must have Data Experts to help them assess how to respond to trends before they happen, and determine how to shape business strategy as supply and demand and external factors influencing business fluctuates.

Wal-Mart was one of the first companies to harness the power of Big Data to determine how to stalk their regional stores differently. Their huge financial success using the predictive powers of analyzing big data inspired others to follow suit. While big data may reap benefits for retail companies, it’s use in terms of driving profits through predictive insight into behaviors, patterns and trends impacts companies in all industries.

How Big Data is used has largely been un-discussed, and instead has remained business secrets. To give you insight into just how powerful Big Data can be, here are few examples of real-world ways to use Big Data on an enterprise level.

Medical Industry

Statisticians worked together with doctors and researchers working at CardioDX, a Palo Alto firm that conducts genetic testing. As a team, the doctors and statisticians were able to create a test that predicts coronary artery disease at its most fledgling stages, so that it’s victims can reasonably prevent their own deaths. To create this test, researchers analyzed the DNA for over 100 million gene samples. Ultimately, they were able to identify the 23 genes that are most likely to precede or to predict that someone will have artery disease. The resulting test, known today as, “The CAD Test” is one of the most esteemed medical breakthroughs of of 2010. It has helped CardioDX capture large profits, fund new research, and save the lives of many.


When the BP oil spill erupted into the Gulf of Mexico, international organizations and the American Government were thrown into disaster relief mode: they were tasked with stopping the spill, and with calculating how wide its damages would spread. Estimating the spill’s flow of oil with accuracy was integral to coordinating the scale and scope of a relief plan. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) used open-source language to run an analysis from various sources reporting different information on the details of the oil spill. The analysis reconciled estimates from various sources to identify an actionable response plan, and then to execute it. The large data analysis needed to be done effectively, and quickly. Luckily for Americans, Data Scientists at the NIST were able to reduce huge information pools into concrete recommendations.

Time to Market in All Industries

Regardless of which industry an enterprise operates in, it can benefit from Big Data when rolling out new product or service. Developing and introducing a new product often takes many iterations, and it often requires a timeline that cannot be predicted in advance, should testing take longer than anticipated.

These are just a few examples of how Big Data has made a big difference in the organizations that make it a focus. For more information on how your company can benefit from Big Data, no matter what industry you operate in, get in touch with Trace3.

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