Biggest buzz around the world today – Big Data! Last 15 years have seen dramatic change in the way we live and work. Today, we are leaving digital traces or signals behind for most of the things that we do and these are being captured by internet service providers, web hosting companies, search engine organizations, cell phone service providers and so on. When it comes to wellness and ways of living, lot of data gets generated, if you are using smart sensors and household gadgets. Your behavior as consumer, corporate employee and citizen can be and actually getting measured one way or another.
Enormity of data being collected can be understood by a simple estimate – data captured from the inception of human race until about year 2000 is being collected today in just 2 days and this speed is getting accelerated each day!
Scientifically as per quantum mechanics, our life comprises of digits 1-0. Interestingly, most of our actions are being digitally stored external to us and are accessible to people, we have no clue of!
Bigger data would bring bigger means and methods
Data are not merely being collected; but also analyzed through a variety of models called “analytics” and then presented to managers or individual users. These analytics present the information in descriptive, predictive or prescriptive form.
Big Data has brought and would further bring benefits in following areas:
- Statistical ability to understand past performance and anticipate results through trends and tendencies.
- Identifying problems or improvements.
- Consistency in decision making; actual decision may still be different and diverse.
- Better and consistent product quality and service to customers
- Driving cost lower and higher productivity.
This would make bigger players even bigger and edge out smaller ones.
- Competitive strategies.
- Easier adaption to market dynamics.
- Following sectors would witness exponential growth:
- Internet, Web Hosting and Browsing and Search Engines
- Statistics, mathematical modeling, data mining and analysis
- Telecom hardware and hand held devices manufacturing
- Telecom services
- Cyber security
- Investigation industry
- Virtual war weapons and carriers for same
- Armaments for defense and destruction
- Wellness and medical fields
Emphasis is expected to shift for customized treatments
- Social media
Bigger data would mean bigger conflict of interests and/or confusion
One thing that never goes down with humans is greed to get more information! When you have information, you can’t resist using it. If you can use it; you would also misuse it!!
When means take over morals, conflict of interests would start to reign. Many corporate managers are already complaining of big confusions with flood of data/information.
There are very clear signs that Big Data would bring:
- Private or public life to hinge on mechanics, not on morals.
- Quantity of data would make quality of data and decisions poorer.
Nature does not permit quantity and quality to go concurrent indefinitely.
- Crucial Corporate or Government decisions would be clamped by mental abilities of data analysts.
- Nearly everyone stands to lose privacy and sleep.
- In name of upholding values and governance, Corporates and Countries would indulge in dirtier tactics.
- Rise in stress, blood pressure, heart and kidney related ailments and mental disorders.
If you measure your blood pressure, it rises about 10 points compared to when you don’t measure. If you go to doctor for such information, you would find it at least 15 points more. If you start maintaining history of your blood pressure, your focus would be more on reading than its control!
- Rise of rivals and their retributions at company, community, private or public levels.
How to arrest fall from rise of Big Data
Drive for Big Data is driven by business interests. Social and ethical responsibilities have taken a back seat, if action of investigation agencies and individuals in some countries is any indication.
Hundreds of thousands of people are involved in data mining and analysis; so it is also difficult to regulate their attitude and approach. More the buzz for Big Data, more are chances of it getting busted.
There are 2 rules of nature in this context:
- Nothing – real or virtual – is one sided.
By working on one aspect, we create the opposite. It is for this reason that one who can develop, can also dismantle or destroy. However advanced technology may go, it would never be immune to issues. This demands a balanced but not blind approach to data.
- When we observe or measure anything, we are bound to disturb that.
It is a different thing that we fail to notice. An example is measuring your blood pressure as mentioned before or you wanting to say something; but becoming conscious only to fumble.
Therefore, we need to define extent of measurement and monitoring.
If we want to save ourselves from perils of Big Data, we need to draw a line between means and morals, quantity and quality, reports and rationale. If we fail to do, what looks lucrative today would soon turn ludicrous!