“Big Data” is a large amount of data involving billions of people gathered over social network sites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Google by using digital sensors. Example of digital sensors used for collecting both structured and unstructured data that measure behavior of people and their patterns include mobile phones, automobiles, tablets, shipping crates and electrical meters.
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These sensors play a vital role in gathering “Big data”. All the activities that a person does using the digital sensors are stored somewhere in hard drives or social network servers and collectively avail “Big Data” that is just there, waiting for analysis.
A new thing about “Big Data” is that any bit of information regarding activities of people such as their thoughts on specific issues at a particular time, at a particular place every single moment are recorded and stored in servers.
Data collection and storage of tiny bits of information pertaining to human behavior is done using digital sensors on a global scale. What makes this a question of importance is the fact that researchers have been given permission to access “Big Data” for analysis. They gather the “digital breadcrumbs”, clean it and structure it to learn trends of behavior.
Analysis of “Big Data” is a vital process whose outcome can be used to learn patterns of behavior that are useful in predicting the future. This analysis is important in the modern world because major world problems and challenges may be anticipated and avoided. An example is people in a given area talking about a common cold or flu, in social networks.
The mention of flu and common cold will be captured by the “digital sensors” and analyzed by researchers. They will then recommend all hospitals to equip themselves with flu medicine and vaccines, which in turn may prevent an epidemic.
“Big data” creates more opportunities in all sectors of the government. All challenges such as crime trends, crime hotspots, plans, diseases, accidents and political malice can be prevented by proper analysis of “Big Data”.
Although “Big Data” has all the desirable advantages, it can create a few problems. Computer scientists and data analysts note that there is amplified likelihood of “false discoveries” when dealing with a large quantity of data. They note that it is difficult to find an accurate outcome by analyzing tones of data.
This implies that researchers can easily come up with false information arising from “Big Data” if thorough research is overlooked.
Another challenge “”Big Data” face is the issue of privacy. Many people will not like it if their patterns of behavior and communication details are released out there for others to access. People value their person privacy in the modern society, and there are laws to protect the same.
Ethical considerations such as using this data for an undesirable manner by authorities to spy on citizens should be considered before it is availed for everyone to access. The fears related with the use of “Big Data” are enough to make people rebel and force laws against access to such data for any use. Privacy is a sensitive issue that should be handles with caution.
Information regarding “Big Data” is vital for the course of statistics. Both structured and unstructured data needs to be mined and analyzed using correct statistical methods learnt in class. “Big Data” needs people with statistical knowledge to make it meaningful and useful in the society. Statistical methods of data analysis learnt in class are important for students aspiring to become “Big Data” analysts.