Making Sense of Big Data

Big data, by itself, can’t change the world. But by applying the insights gleaned through the analysis of big data, companies can transform the way the world does business.

Such insights can help reinvent different industries in different ways: By incorporating an influx of sensor-based data from the Internet of Things, for example, companies in industrial goods and manufacturing can assess product performance with greater precision than ever before. Financial institutions can use big data to integrate disparate information—such as how much a consumer spends and the kinds of products she buys and the patterns in which she buys them—so they can more accurately assess a consumer's creditworthiness or credit risk. The promise of big data is equally powerful in health care, where wearable health-monitoring devices generate massive amounts of new information about the effects and outcomes of medical treatments.

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