El mundo se expande aceleradamente y los avances tecnológicos han abierto la puerta hacia nuevos conceptos y formas de entender la realidad. Cada día se crean millones de datos que provienen de fuentes que antes eran inimaginables, pero que hoy son parte de la cotidianidad y que se acuñan bajo el término: big data.

El big data puede parecer una idea abstracta y alejada de la mayoría de personas que no están inmersas en el campo tecnológico, pero lo cierto es que desde el momento en que se tiene acceso a internet se están creando datos. Redes sociales, smartphones, smart tvs, hasta cualquier aparato electrónico, todos son fuentes de información que las ciudades buscan aprovechar para avanzar en el desarrollo social.

The world is expanding rapidly and technological advances have opened the door to new concepts and ways of understanding reality.  Every day millions of data are created from sources that were unimaginable before, but that today are part of our daily life and are coined under the term: big data.

Big data may seem like an abstract and distant idea for most of the people who are not immersed in the technological field, but the truth is that from the moment you have access to the internet, data is being created. Social networks, smartphones, smart TVs, even any electronic device, all of these are sources of information that cities attempt to benefit from so that they can improve their social development.

This new paradigm points towards a greater customization and efficiency, where smart cities have come out of fiction and are now a reality. Smart social interconnection has become a priority for governments and companies, which seek to create the future of the information society.

What is big data?

Every action that is performed day by day generates data; From the steps that are taken, the places that are visited, the use of transport systems and communication channels, even to sleep and activity trackers, all are monitored as sources of information. Today, all the people that have a cellphone carry a monitor device without even noticing it.

These data that arise massively every minute and that until now were ignored, have resulted in the need to develop new ways of analyzing and interpreting information to find answers to questions that were unknown.

In summary, big data is the set of massive and complex data that comes from technological sources and cannot be managed or processed by traditional software. Also, these data must meet three characteristics in order to be considered “big data”:

  • Volume: These are large volumes of unstructured data that arise at high speed and exceed terabytes of information.
  • Speed: The data’s creation rate works in real-time or very close to it, so they must be processed almost simultaneously to apply some action.
  • Variety: It is not just a massive amount of real-time data. In big data, the data is presented in unstructured or semi-structured formats (such as text, audio or video), meaning it requires an additional process so that it can be interpreted.

What is big data for?

The analysis and interpretation of data have become a priority discipline for the society’s development information, in which we are currently living. Governments and companies have understood the importance of channelling this knowledge to create new management strategies that will provide successful solutions and facilitate life in cities.

Big data, provides logical timely and efficient solutions to daily problems. It is not just about analyzing data, it is also about finding more comprehensive answers that facilitate a new approach to social problems.

Although it is a relatively recent discipline, big data is advancing at a high speed and is being implemented by all kinds of companies and organizations to make processes, products and services more efficiently.

Besides, with the Internet of things emergence (IoT), it is no longer only humans who create data, but all devices connected to the internet are generating patterns of use and performance that together with Machine Learning have enhanced the usefulness of big data.

Where is this data used?

Big data is being used in practices of all industries and is being implemented to create products, improve services and develop new forms of interaction. The applications are endless and the potential has not yet been lost. However, these are some of the uses that are currently being given to big data:

  • Products and services: Using the information on social networks, usage statistics, web searches, among other data, several companies have begun to develop predictive methods to create more efficient market studies. This allows them to plan, produce and launch new products that adapt to the users’ needs and desires, making their impact on the market more effective.
  • Production, maintenance and industrial safety: Thanks to the sensors incorporated in multiple machines, it is possible to monitor in real-time the operating status of an industrial equipment and predict failures or necessary maintenance, in this way the number of accidents caused by technical failures is reduced. Also, it is possible to increase production and being more efficient in the use of resources by using this data.
  • User experience: Due to the massive supply of goods and services around the world, companies have understood that user experience can be a determining factor in their commercial success. By using big data, you can customize offers, segment communications more accurately and create simple and efficient processes that meet the needs of consumers.
  • Energy efficiency: Environmental awareness is growing along with technological development, this is why it is increasingly important to use technological advances to generate the least possible impact on the planet. By using big data, there has been a development of smart grids or smart power grids which allows the monitoring of energy consumption, power management where is needed and the reduction of load waste.

Big data’s potential is immense and it has recently started to explore its ability to make life in society more efficient. The importance here is that governments and companies have understood the need to offer successful solutions that adapt to the demand of the modern world.

Las Smart Cities y Smart Homes ya no son una utopía, cada día se incorporan nuevas herramientas que permiten saber desde el estado del tráfico, cuando vendrá el bus, controlar la temperatura de un espacio y saber el estado de salud de una persona. Aunque quedan muchas interrogantes por delante, el big data es sin duda, una gran oportunidad para encontrar las respuestas. Si te pareció interesante este artículo, cuéntanos ¿cómo se está implementando el big data en tu ciudad?

Smart Cities and Smart Homes are no longer a utopia. Every day new tools are being incorporated providing a wide range of information, such as; the traffic condition, the buses arriving time, the ability to control a place’s temperature, even the health status of a person. Although many questions remain ahead, big data is undoubtedly a great opportunity to find answers. If you thought this article was interesting, tell us how is big data being implemented in your city?

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