By Suresh Katta, Founder and CEO, Saama Technologies
There continues to be a lot of hype surrounding Big Data and the associated words commonly linked to it. like ‘actionable insights’ and ‘guided analytics’. Such words may not be understood by people outside of the data and analytics science field, in fact, these words could easily sound more like puffspeak amounting to nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
But to those of us in the data and analytics trenches, we understand how powerful actionable insights and guided analytics can be and how valuable the Big Data promise is for all of us. Big Data has applications everywhere and all walks of life can reap the benefits of actionable insights. It is not just for businesses, although actionable insights garnered through Big Data efforts are catapulting some organizations into new understandings of their business processes and their customers’ desires. Going beyond a business application, Big Data and the resulting actionable insights and guided analytics can help illuminate how we track health trends, long-term impacts of our cultural norms, and even how we track progress in poverty stricken areas. The outcome of such actionable insights can change the way we interpret, understand and think.
How? Here is an illustration of the power of Big Data that is having an incredible impact in the way we approach overpopulation, a worldwide concern. In his video, Will Saving Poor Children Lead to Overpopulation?, noted Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker Hans Rosling, dispels the myth that saving poor children will lead to overpopulation. This is an excellent example of what can be derived when big data, data science, and analytics converge. Rosling does an amazing job of bringing together complex data elements that ultimately, when correlated all together, give a powerful actionable insight – that saving poor children will reduce overpopulation, rather than increase it. Using analytics and wonderful graphics, Rosling deftly explains a very complicated concept in ways that make the listener re-think and re-evaluate a commonly held myth that populations will grow if the poorest are given too much aide.
This is a very powerful, very impactful actionable insight derived from Big Data. No hype, no marketing spin. Actionable insights are more than a cliché word of the day. They can have economic punch or they can affect the feelings or sympathies of a worldwide concern.
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