Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Using Big Data to uncover patterns and trends

Big Data is something that is now very commonly heard of in the technology arena. What is Big Data? Simply put. It's about process large amount of information, mostly for the purpose of business intelligence. Hadoop is one of the more popular Big Data tools that organisations use.

Recently I was discussing with my wife about the the data set used for the population paper when I mentioned that Big Data technology might have been used.

It makes sense for Big Data tools to be used because we're talking about many parameters here. To some, increasing or decreasing the number of foreigners in Singapore seems a straight forward decision, but few realise the impact that it will bring to the other aspects.

The population whitepaper is skewed towards explaining the rationale of why the population needs to be increased. It talks about the different areas that will be affected if the population increases, namely housing, transport and health. All these are parameters that the big data tool can analyse and predict the impact when the population increases.

However, how about decreasing the population? With the recent backlash with the CECA agreement with India, few will remember that the decisions we make as a country may impact some of the agreements that were signed with other countries. The tools will be able to help predict such issues, that is provided the parameter and information have been added in.

Looks like Big Data is useful when you're trying to see the future when certain decisions are being made. It is able to uncover patterns and trends if the relationship between the different data sets are properly configured.

However, one note of caution. The tool is only as smart as the person using it. Do not blame the tool or technology if you do not know how to properly use it.


LC said...

I think the Big Data tool is only as smart as the person who..

decides what trend he wants to see and..

how good the data scientist is to translate the requirements into coding!

chantc said...

Agree that the tool is only as useful as the person who knows how to use it to its full extend.

However, trending depends on the kind of parameters that are put in because these are the values that will show the results. If the parameters are there, the trend is there to manipulate.

Translating it into requirements might be a problem though since it seems that lesser people are trained in Java, which I think Hadoop is based on.

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