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Data, Big Data, Cloud Data, Data, Data, Data

You are bombarded with talk of data. Companies are all trying to get useable, actionable use of their data. Where once here were data analysts, database managers, data architects and data warehouse experts there are now data scientists.

Glassdoor an online site dedicated to job salaries and company reviews just released its annual list of the best jobs in America. It scored careers based upon three categories: career opportunities, number of openings for the job, and salary. Coming in at the top of the list this year: data scientist.  It has a median income of $116,000 and there are over 1,700 positions currently available.  Data Science is an interdisciplinary field about processes and systems to extract knowledge or insights from data in various forms, either structured or unstructured, which is a continuation of some of the data analysis fields such as statistics, data mining, and predictive analytics, similar to Knowledge Discovery in Databases (KDD).

InfoWorld recently published an article “All the cool companies are doing big data”.

A recent Dell survey found the companies that had adopted big data were growing 50 percent faster than those that weren’t. In fact, Dell found that 41 percent of the companies that have adopted big data technologies are using it to target their marketing efforts, 37 percent are optimizing their marketing, and another 37 are optimizing their social media marketing.  In North America, 44 percent of respondents are looking at risk-based data driven decision-making as opposed to only 29 percent last year.

How are companies using data? Here are some examples:

  1. ATLANTA FALCONS: Use GPS technology to assess player movements during practices, which helps the coaches create more efficient plays.
  2. BANK OF AMERICA: “BankAmeriDeals” provides cash-back offers to credit and debit-card customers based upon analyses of their prior purchases.
  3. CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT: Combines patrons’ gambling outcomes with their rewards program information to offer enticing perks to those who are losing at the tables.
  4. GOOGLE: Working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, tracks when users are inputting search terms related to flu topics, to help predict which regions may experience outbreaks.
  5. NETFLIX: having drawn in millions of users with its high-quality original programming, is now using its trove of data and analytics about international viewing habits to create and buy programming that it knows will be embraced by large, ready-made audiences.

Businesses have long heard that big data is the future, driving how brands interact with their customers. To remain competitive, companies must find ways to not only extract and study data but also put that information to use in bettering their daily operations. The data future is now.

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