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How Big Data is benefiting businesses and society

Understanding Big Data is one thing, but unlocking the many advantages that it can offer businesses ad society is sometimes not as straightforward.

However, companies with masses of data at their disposal and the analytical tools required to process them are already beginning to reap Big Data benefits.

Read more: How big data is solving the biggest, industry-specific issues of the day

One industry that is rapidly adopting Big Data is transport, leading to the growth of “smart cities.” Urban areas have an abundance of data available including travel information, credit card transactions, smartphone GPS signals and more – all of which can be used to improve city services. The Mobility Analytics Platform developed by Xerox uses traffic and car park data to produce a city-wide representation of transport operations in the city. Forecasting can also help predict the impact of traffic jams and adverse weather on transport services.

Outside of urban planning, Big Data is being used by a number of businesses to gain valuable insights. In the retail environment, for example, companies are analysing the large volume and variety of customer data available to provide a smarter shopping experience. This could be through location-based promotions or targeted advertising, or by making the supply chain more efficient.

Businesses specialising in telecommunications, healthcare and public services are also realising the competitive advantages that Big Data can provide. Ultimately, more data means more information, which in turn can be used to create more targeted, focused and efficient services across a broad range of industries.

Read more: Big Data and insight advantage

Of course, unprocessed data is not particularly informative, but using the right software and data scientists can transform this data into something that benefits your business and society as a whole.

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Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with IT Pro Portal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.