Big Data

Posted by – November 29, 2011

NPR aired a story today on the massive data sets collected from us as we go about our digitally enhanced lives, and how analyzing this “big data” enables anything from predicting prices to catching criminals.

Of course, big data and its analysis are far from new, but the costs of data storage and computing power have dropped enough that now virtually anyone with the skills and interest can afford to experiment with analyzing terabytes of data. Some examples include:

  •, a startup that designs algorithms to predict prices of consumer electronics;
  • LinkedIn and Facebook, networking websites that searches its users to find and recommend new people to add to networks; and
  • NetFlix and TiVo, media companies that use subscriber preferences to suggest the next movie to order.