The Quantified Self: Is Data good for your health?

By Jonathan T.

In modern society, mobile technology has carved itself an integrated role in how we as a people recognize and process the enormous amount of data we encounter every day. Recording everything from data linked to when you last purchased a cup of coffee to something as specific as to which sites you enjoy browsing on Memorial Day, data on our activities and habits have become a valuable commodity. However, the rise of data-collecting and parsing technologies has also spurred a new movement which seeks to interpret self-generated data to better understand and learn about ourselves, known as the Quantified Self movement. read more...

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Big Data and Medicine

By Vamsi R.

Big data is paving the road for great technological changes in many industries and giving researchers a powerful tool to analyze and focus on any area of improvement in their company or industry. The medical industry is greatly benefitting from the role of big data in the recent years and it has the potential to change the way the entire field operates.
The role of big data in medicine has no limitations. Beyond improving profits, “Big data in healthcare is being used to predict epidemics, cure disease, improve the quality of life and avoid preventable deaths” (Marr). This is revolutionary as it gives medical professionals a powerful tool in accessing a situation and making well-informed decisions. Big data helps by “aggregating more and more information around aggregating more and more information around multiple scales for what constitutes a disease – from the DNA, proteins, and metabolites to cells, tissues, organs, organisms, and ecosystems” (Mckinsey). This lowers the possibility of making a medical error as organized information is available to help you make the best decision in a particular situation. It also helps researches find cures and preventions for diseases in a more efficient way as large information is readily available in an organized manner.
Big data could also mean an end to the scientific method and create a streamline source for medical answers. It is claimed that “so much information will be available at our fingertips in the future, that there will be almost no need for experiments. The answers are already out there” (Standen). Using a large pool of medical records in the database, a researcher can see if one attribute is a causation for another. This will help them gain further understanding in their research without undergoing the long process of obtaining research grants and conducting independent studies.
There are many companies and organizations that are making the shift to using big data in their operations. One of these companies is IBM which has “announced an acquisition that will enable its Watson platform to learn from stored medical images” (Nelson). IBM’s strategy is to “combine rich image analytics with deep learning” to “cross reference the images with clinical studies, health records, and other sources”(Nelson). Using big data to transform their industry and improve quality overall is exciting to see in all aspects. With a company as large as IBM utilizing big data for medicine, it will not be so wrong to assume that big data might be the future for all healthcare and medical companies.
Organizing large amounts of information can save immense time and costs to medical professionals. With the entrance of big data, many technological changes are being seen in the healthcare and medical research industries. These changes are proving to be beneficial in giving medical professionals a powerful tool in making high quality decisions and have the scope to revolutionize the way the industry operates a whole. Overall, big data is greatly changing the medical field and will only grow in use by medical professionals in the future. read more...

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Narrow AI: Taming Big Data

By Joe L.

Searching the Internet for news, videos, music, or anything else you can think of is something that we include in our everyday lives. The Internet today is full of large, growing databases and websites that use them. With the amount of data that is available on the Internet, it is no wonder that we have technologies such as Apple’s Siri to do the searching for us. Siri was only the beginning, though, as newer innovations in AI services are continuing to make the ever-growing amount of information available to us on the Internet easier for us to handle.
Capturing, storing, finding, and using digital multimedia are daily activities of the average Internet user. Activities such as these are only made possible because of Multimedia Information Retrieval, which is about “the search for knowledge in all its forms, everywhere” (Lew, Sebe, Lifl, & Jain, 2006). Being able to search for so many different types of content so fast and so easily is something that makes information retrieval so important in today’s world, but what good is all the knowledge you could ever want if you can’t find it? This is where Narrow AI comes into play. read more...

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Combating California’s Drought: Big Data

By Arturo D.

Given the recent spurts of rain and snow across California, its easy to forget that we are still in fact suffering from one of the worst droughts in almost 100 years. Recent winter wet seasons in the past few years have been the driest on record since 1895 and experts estimate that it will take a ridiculous amount of precipitation in order for our reservoirs and lakes to reach their normal levels (Thibodeau, 2014). The big difference-maker and new weapon against droughts that didn’t exist decades ago is improving technology in the form of smart sensors for monitoring water usage and the collection of water data to create better usage reports, discover leaks in physical infrastructures and understand what regions are affected by prolonged droughts the most in order to create better conservation goals. read more...

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Big Data in Legal Profession

By Sophia C.

Because of the fast growth of information, Big Data became more powerful and has been utilized by businesses, government, healthcare system, social media and technology to research in order to achieve desired outcomes. For instance, government benefited from Big Data in election campaigns, cost and time reduction, while healthcare system adopted Big Data analytics to “predict epidemics, cure disease, improve quality of life and avoid preventable deaths” (Marr, 2015). More than that, Big Data also supports decision-making and shapes the way people learn and teach nowadays. “Educational researcher can now track student achievement in online courses, where monitoring the progress of masses of students in real time can make research more conclusive” (Metz, 2015). Like other fields, legal system creates “ever-increasing amount of data,” and legal professionals realized that “witness statement, court logs and judge’s summaries [would] be hidden facts and insight that could help win legal arguments” (Marr, 2016). Therefore, they apply Big Data analytics into legal profession with a hope to seek for an improvement in justice system. read more...

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Data Mining Improves Product Development

By Michael C.

Data mining has demonstrated its value in business settings. Data mining is a collective term that describes different analysis techniques, used to scan large amounts of data (Lee, 2013). Data mining techniques that are related to association, allow businesses, such as retailers to cross sell products more efficiently. By finding relationships that we would normally miss or not see at all, data analysis has been used to improve marketing techniques. These same missed connections or relationships, improve product development. Using data mining, companies improve their product development process, by finding what their current products lack. Just like it does in other aspects of the business, data mining and analysis help improve decision-making. By using data mining to identify what a product a lacking, companies could develop products more effectively. read more...

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MapReduce for Managing Big Data

By Zexing G.

Big data technology has been leading companies to a new way of managing and collecting data. The evolution of Internet has allowed humans to experience a big volume of information and data on Internet, and companies keep invent big data tools to collect and manage these data. Big data is usually used to describe a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that is too large to possess and manage. However, big data is also referring to the technology that an organization requires to handle a large amount of data. Google and Facebook have used a programming modal called MapReduce for managing and processing large data. It helps them to query a specific from a large amount of data in a more efficient and instantaneous way. read more...

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Big Data for Computer Hardware

By Jonathan U.

Big Data or Business Intelligence technology is revolutionizing how we obtain and interpret data to obtain knowledge. Big Data is not used for just learning more about customer needs and how to produce or sell more, it is really a technique to gain more insight and knowledge about anything and everything. The computer hardware industry is using big data in ways that not only benefit businesses but also advance big data as a whole. Companies like Dell Computers and Cisco Systems are paving the way of computer hardware using Big Data. read more...

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Big Data on Military

By Sze Long W.

The development of Big Data is leading people to a new path of their works. The evolution of human societies has been characterized by the way how we collect and manage information. In business, companies are using big data tool to collect information as much as they can in order to benefit their companies. And like companies, the military would like to work smarter, faster and more flexible when it resolves problems. The military would like to use information which is collected by soldiers to prevent attacks or confirm their operations. It increases the chance of having successful operations. U.S. military would collect information from citizens through many ways regularly, including the information from cell phone, email, video record, audio record etc. Next, the analysts will start putting, tagging and describing the data and transferring the data into meaningful data in order to make it easier for computers and humans to understand it. read more...

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Big Data in Environmental Services

By Brandon V.
Big data is a resourceful tool in today’s society because it has become a big part of our everyday lives. From where we choose to travel to what things we choose to buy, our decisions are, in one way or another, derived from information gathered by big data. These are some of the ways big data can affect us directly, however it is also used in other applications that we may take for granted, such as in environmental services. Many environmental service companies saw the potential this technology has for the industry, so they applied it. From disaster prevention, to farming, to tourism, big data in the environmental service industry has proved to be very a successful, multi-use tool. read more...

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