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5 Industries Becoming Defined by Big Data and Analytics


The ever-improving capabilities of big data platforms increasingly create new opportunities for industries with representatives who want to examine analytics to benefit their companies.

Here are five sectors with business operations shaped by big data and analytics — and what they have to offer.

1. Medicine
The medical industry depends on specialized equipment to track vital signs, assist with procedures and make diagnoses. It’s also using big data and analytics tools to improve health in various ways.

Wearable trackers transmit information to physicians and tell them whether patients took medicines or if they’re otherwise following treatment or disease management plans. Compiled data gathered over time provides doctors with comprehensive views of patients’ well-being, offering much more in-depth information than brief in-person visits.

In other cases, public health departments look at big data and analytics to prioritize food safety inspections of at-risk facilities. Researchers dig into data to reveal the places with the most significant disease patterns, too.

Moreover, big data and several kinds of analytics help hospital managers reduce waiting times and improve care. Some platforms look at data in bulk, then find the patterns within it and prescribe recommendations to produce progress.

2. Retail
If retailers don’t correctly anticipate what customers want and then provide those things, their establishments will likely falter. Big data and analytics provide the insights needed to keep people happy and returning to stores. A study from IBM found 62 percent of respondents in retail said information and analytics gave them competitive advantages.

The most useful strategies involve identifying business needs first, then figuring out how analytics technologies support those requirements. For example, a retailer might want to keep shoppers in physical stores for longer periods of time. Then, it could use big data and analytics to create personalized, highly relevant material that excites and engages in-store visitors.

Analytics software can track every step of a customer’s journey, too. The resultant insights could tell retailers how to attract the most high-value shoppers. Examining weather data could predict an increased need for seasonal items like snow shovels and beach chairs, too, letting retailers order those things before most customers arrive.

3. Construction
Construction companies track everything from materials-based expenses to the average time needed to complete tasks. It’s not much of a surprise then, that data analytics is becoming a big part of the industry.

When construction professionals monitor field service metrics such as attrition, the lifetime values of customers, referral rates and revenue, they’ll be better able to see what’s going well and which parts of the business need improvement. Moreover, big data analyzes the best place for a project based on anticipated future uses and trends. Some projects even incorporate sensors into buildings and bridges, and those accessories collect data and send it back to people for analysis.

Dayton Superior, a concrete construction company, supplies materials for projects around the world. It realized how difficult it was to offer price transparency when company representatives didn’t immediately know material costs in certain cities. So, the business began using analytics and geographic data while making price determinations.

One month later, over 98 percent of the sales representatives used the improved interface and reported dramatic decreases in the timeframes for providing price quotes.

Since then, the company has reduced inconsistencies in its pricing processes. The insights given by the analytics tools often allow the company to give lower rates to its customers by presenting prices that are more appropriate for their situations.

4. Banking
People don’t necessarily think of the banking sector as an industry that’s exceptionally high-tech, but some brands are changing perceptions with analytics. Bank of America engineered a virtual assistant called Erica that uses predictive analytics and natural language processing to help customers view banking transaction histories or information about upcoming bills.

Also, Erica gets smarter with every transaction. Representatives for Bank of America say the assistant will eventually study people’s banking habits and provide relevant financial advice.

Big data aids in the fight against banking fraud, too. One predictive machine learning model built by QuantumBlack detected the equivalent of $100,000 in fraudulent transactions in the first week of use.

5. Transportation
People need to reach their destinations on time, and big data and analytics help public transportation providers increase the likelihood of successful journeys. Transport for London uses statistics to map customer journeys, provide people with personalized details and manage unexpected circumstances. Representatives can tell how many people are on a given bus or minimize the distances travelers must walk to board buses.

Analytics assist people in the rail industry, too. Onboard sensors give details about trains’ braking mechanisms, mileage and more. Datasets from 100 trains could produce up to 200 billion data points annually.

The people examining the information attempt to find meaningful patterns that guide them in improving operations. They might discover chains of events that lead to equipment failure and take trains temporarily out of service, for example.

The transportation sector is also one of the best industries for people seeking data science careers.

Big Data and Analytics Lead to Smarter Decision-Making
In the not so distant past, professionals largely relied on guesswork when making crucial decisions.

Big data and analytics software allows them to look through incredible amounts of information and feel confident when figuring out how to deal with things in their respective industries.


By KaylaMatthews