Big Data is Some Sweet Stuff
Ethan Yuan #40 7-5
You’re on your way to Jenny Wang’s, hoping to pick up some groceries and some Jolly Ranchers to satisfy your secret desire for candy. As you walk there, you notice that several security cameras are making googly-eyes at you. Well, not specifically at you, but at everyone. Billions of people are recorded as they go through their daily routine. This bothers most of the population, but should it really? Big Data gives us many perks and benefits that can easily improve lives. A lot of apps and advancements utilizing Big Data was made to protect us, to make our things more convenient, and to innovate. So, should we give that up?
One of the many reasons Big Data is a benefit is because Big Data helps lives and protects people from miscreants hiding in the dark, waiting to pickpocket, assault, or kill you. The police and data scientist can analyze previous data on previous crimes and malefactors, and therefore predict criminal movements, or directly track said criminals. After all, we can’t entirely depend on Holmes or the CSI. Right now, with this tech, and with Big Data, we can hone on crime hotspots and catch them as soon as the felon emerges for their secret bunker. How do they do this? Well, according to CBS News, the LAPD keeps files and folders on ex-cons, bad guys, and other outlaws, and are alerted if they make a move. They also keep an eye on gang-ridden neighborhoods and nefarious districts, where crime like murder and drug-dealing are likely to happen. As stated by Big Data Made Simple, a company that tells and explains the story of Big Data, the LAPD’s use of Big Data to fight crime has severely reduced the amount of trouble in Los Angeles. The company stated, “so far, it has reduced burglaries by 33 percent, violent crimes by 21 percent and property crimes by 12 percent respectively.” (2017) Many officers of the law have already grown dependent on this new way to fight crime. “This is a tremendous step forward. Without this, I couldn’t do my job,” claims Captain Ed Prokop, an officer that heads the department of watching over a dark district known as the “Shootin’ Newton” area. And that’s just for the aggressive and more violent crimes. Software such as Gotham of Palantir can help police analyze data and find criminals that are taking advantage of people in desperation or poverty. They create fake insurance and healthcare providence, that really has no use, but they still get money from it. All in all, Big Data helps us find and prosecute criminals, and our privacy is worth the trade for our safety and protection.
Convenience. That’s what everyone is trying to achieve, isn’t it? It’s the ultimate goal. Well, finding and unlocking the secrets of the universe are, but making things more convenient and faster is are certainly important objectives too. The more convenient the thing is, the more customers there all, and then more profit. How do shops make their store more convenient though? Of course, there it is again, Big Data. According to Datameer, using your searching history or your actions done in a shop somewhere, they can personalize their shop just for you, or offer a larger variety of sold items, while taking off the old items that simply aren’t just popular anymore, so shoppers can get items they want. Let’s say there’s a new sun lotion that was made especially for those that are sensitive to the chemicals to sunscreen. Now that can be accessed, instead of someone buying a suntan lotion that’s two years old and killing the person as he’s allergic. That would not only save you a lot of time, it might also save a lot of pain. If you were watching the Food Channel, and they showed an impressive display of cooking utensils that you would like to have in your kitchen inventory. But sadly, you cannot remember the name of the brand that was used on the show. Instead of racking your brain, praying for a rerun, or combing through Google, large and small retails will be alerted and display an ad for Food Channel or the utensil that was displayed. It may sound a bit creepy that they know this, but it saves a lot of time, and it’s not like Amazon will go through people’s browsing history and kill them because they opened Amazon and looked at a teddy bear seller’s information. Not only is Big Data improving and raising shopping convenience, it is also improving and making travel better. According to Exastax, when a person complained about getting an expensive plane when there was cheaper one, Amadeus, a Global Distribution System, used that info and created a search system that gives you specific info on non-transfer flights that are cheap. Without this, individuals would have to comb through all the flights going to somewhere with all the different airlines. That’s a lot of flights to go through. You know what they say, “Time is gold.” And right now, Big Data’s saving your gold.
Without Big Data, we cannot innovate. The wheel. What was it made for? To make transporting caveman resources like food and water easier. But first, they felt the burden of carrying a pack of stones, meat, and gathered vegetables while chasing a wild buffalo. They felt what we modern humans call heaviness. But they needed that data from their fellow cavemen and cavewomen. They needed to know if they were the only one feeling the ache in their backs, the cramp in their neck from their heavy packs. See, even in prehistoric days, people needed this data to make their new gadget or invention. Same as now. When people refuse to share their data, not only are they limiting themselves from the world and becoming a hermit, they also make it harder for the innovating companies of Earth to do their job. Bringing back an old example, Amadeus. See, without complaints and surveyed data, will it be what it is now? Maybe through a genius prodigy the same idea will still sprout out. But it won’t likely to be the same, as they’re just using the perspective on one person. According to Bernard Marr, who works for Forbes, data is important as it can provide new solutions and ideas for old but recurring problems. “For innovative businesses, one of the crucial roles that data plays are proving to a sometimes-skeptical audience that your product provides a new solution to a recurrent problem.”
People are concerned for their privacy, and rightly so. Facebook has stolen data that they had no right to, and then gave that data to the government. But what are the chances that’ll happen again? With the media and authorities watching the corporations’ every move, if they mess up, the media will be on to them, like a pack of rabid wolves who have been starved. The media certainly wants to spice their stories up and give a dramatic flair to it, so the companies aren’t likely to do what they were severely reprimanded for. Even if they did, who cares? What will the government or another major corporation do? Slay people in their sleep because they dumped Ex-Lax in someone’s Diet Coke for a childhood prank? If you believe that, perhaps you’re a bit paranoid. It’s good to be on the watch and be concerned about your privacy, but not to the point where you believe that giving Microsoft data will ultimately lead to your death. We have ways to protect privacy, and that should be enough. If you were hacked by New Zealander spy who works the KGB, then you’re likely to be a major corporation or a secret super spy. Then protecting your privacy really doesn’t matter anymore, or at least you have the skill or manpower to counter that.
As I have so reasonably stated, Big Data not only protects our fragile human bodies, but also helps us create and innovate while making everything faster and more convenient. With this, we are no longer limited to the items and creations we have today. With this, we can go further, to where no man has ever explored before, both the intangible world and physical realm. Let go of your concerns for privacy and step out into the greatness of Big Data.
- CBS News, “LAPD use big data to target criminals’, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lapd-uses-big-data-to-target-criminals/, Nov 14, 2014
- Lizzie Dearden, “How technology is allowing police to predict here and when crime will happen”, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-big-data-technology-predict-crime-hotspot-mapping-rusi-report-research-minority-report-a7963706.html, Oct 7, 2017
- Big Data Made Simple, “How Big Data helps us in the fight against crime: Beyond ‘Minority Report’”, http://bigdata-madesimple.com/how-big-data-helps-us-in-the-fight-against-crime-beyond-minority-report/, Aug 13, 2014
- Michael Dickenson, “The Next Step for Big Data”, https://csnews.com/next-step-big-data, June 7, 2017
- Erin Hitchcock, “Five Big Data Use Cases for Retail”, https://www.datameer.com/blog/five-big-data-use-cases-retail/, Feb 27, 2018
- Exastax, “How Big Data Analytics is Transforming the Travel Industry”, https://www.exastax.com/data-analytics/how-big-data-analytics-is-transforming-the-travel-industry/, Jan 26, 2017
- Lynne MacDonald, “The Role of Data in Business, https://smallbusiness.chron.com/role-data-business-20405.html, N.D.
- AJ Agrawal, “Why is Big Data Important for Companies and Why Innovation is on the Way”, https://www.inc.com/aj-agrawal/why-data-is-important-for-companies-and-why-innovation-is-on-the-way.html, Mar 26, 2018