Data is the basis for finding reality. If you don’t have the right information, you are bound to make bad decisions. Machines are now generating more information than humans. Regular data extraction methods are not enough anymore; We have IoT – the Internet of Things, extracting information every second.
If we see evolution as a trial-and-error process, the ability to have more information makes us much more efficient while making critical decisions. That’s where big data comes in handy.
Big data has proven to be a boon for even non-tech environments where Information Technology is not at the crux of it all. Companies like Algo Engines tackle complex management of windmills and solar plants by continuously monitoring all the hardware components on site. Owners of the renewable energy plants can capture critical data and fix issues on site before things get too out of hand. Algo Engines alerts their clients by identifying “at-risk” components using big data & IoT technology.
For businesses that cannot afford a big data infrastructure of their own, cloud-based big data solutions, for example, Amazon Web Services (AWS) gives a ready platform for you to utilize their cloud computing services. Once a cloud setup or big data infrastructure is done, companies can begin processing their data and leverage the big data tech to their advantage. Nowadays, for elaborate tasks of parallel-processing unstructured data, quantum computers are used.
Data collection and extraction is a crucial step in big data management. If there is no data in the first place, there is no point to any of the further processes. With the seamless combination of IoT and big data, data extraction is now quicker and hassle-less. There are companies that are working specifically to collect and sell data. The value of data is unprecedented and increases every other day.
With this kind of big data explosion, things can get out of hand. There is constant monitoring of our activities, be it shopping, social media, digital content consumption behavior, in short, all our actions are being recorded and monitored. The past has already demonstrated incidents where things have gone spiraling down due to such privacy interventions.
Edward Snowden leaked details of how the NSA (US National Security Agency) supervised extensive internet and phone surveillance of citizens without the public’s knowledge, which was a severe privacy breach. The most recent example is, of course, the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. We bore witness to this misconduct where the personal information of more than 87 million users was collected against their knowledge. Information is power and it can be used in diabolical ways, especially when taken without the owner’s knowledge and privacy rights. Skeptics even claim that this data, collected from 2014, was influential in 2016’s US presidential campaign which led to Trump’s victory. Data used to influence public opinion is capable of making or breaking a country, maybe even the world.
It is a breach of trust to use data against the knowledge of the data owners. And yet, it is done rampantly. We are in need to create a fair data-driven world. Well, at least after the Facebook data-breach fiasco, people are more aware of the reality that we live in. Awareness is the first step to move forward and ignorance, in this case, isn’t bliss!