Word of the week: big data

Big data has become a popular term used to describe the growth and availability of data that companies can analyze in order to make better business decisions. These decisions based on accurate analyses of big data can lead to greater efficiency, productivity and cost reductions which positively impact the company’s bottom line. In particular, the healthcare industry is becoming extremely interested in big data to predict epidemics, find cures, and improve quality of life of their patients.

What makes big data “big?”
It’s no surprise that the amount of data that we produce and collect has become increasingly large in recent years, and our ability to use technology to analyze and understand it has grown as well. Smart phone apps and wearable devices have played a significant role in collecting the data we each generate in day-to-day life. Soon, a patient’s data collected from their blood pressure app, calorie counter, pedometer, etc. will be shared with doctors who can generate an accurate diagnoses and prevent problems from occurring in the first place. Location data produced by our devices is valuable in understanding the spread of disease and how to prevent an epidemic. Finally, hospitals and providers are just like other businesses and can utilize big data findings to make smarter business decisions that impact work flow efficiency, increase patient satisfaction and reduce costs. 

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