Big Data analysis (like IBM Big Ideas, based on hadoop) is being used to work out the mood of the nation with regard to the Olympics. Tweets are being monitored (Big Brother) analysed and the findings represented by the illumination of the London Eye (see article for full details).
This is a great high profile useage of Big Data. You can really see how this sort of software can quickly analyse language and pull out patterns, exceptions, keywords. Useful for security services and companies with loads of money and time on their hands. But will analysing public opinion really be worth it for most companies or are we being sold magic beans? Surely a company knows if a product is selling or not? I can see how maybe a company will want to analyse a market before creating a product or service but can that be achieve by trials, and studies in a more cost effective way? Possibly. Probably a combination of both will bring the best results, but honestly I really don’t understand marketing and selling. I would think that by seeing a Coca-Cola sign on the side of a running track that it wouldn’t influence me at all but it must or else billions of pounds a year wouldn’t be spent on it.
Where I am interested though and can see a real benefit (to my techie eyes) is applying Big Data to security. If all your logs from firewalls, applications, PCs, phones, etc can be collated in one location and have some intelligent analysis done on it you can identify threats, potential threats and outbreaks and cut them off before becoming a massive and costly problem. Security Intelligence. Look out for it. It’s the new BI. IBMs xforce security report for 2012 mentions it as an area security conscious companies should be looking at www.ibm.com/security/xforce