Big Data, Big Revelations – How Data Defines the Future


What do investigative reports about rigged tennis matches, promising new pharmaceuticals, and marketing innovations have in common? They’re all examples of how big data applications reveal the most promising paths to their users. Because big data gives you a big-picture view, it has significant predictive power. It’s the difference between walking through a forest and getting an aerial view of it that shows all the major features of the landscape. Let’s take a closer look at the transformative power of data and what it means for businesses today.

How Analysis Broke the Big Story in Tennis

When news broke recently about major tennis matches possibly being fixed, it shook the sporting world. Involvement with organized crime networks, star athletes, and big wins made it a top story, but it might never have broken at all without an analysis of betting outcomes on a total of more than 26,000 matches over seven years. Allegations of fixing had haunted the sport for years, but investigative reporter John Templon looked at the data to see where those allegations led. By comparing odds on matches to actual bets placed, he spotted anomalies – cases in which bets against certain athletes were far larger than the odds would suggest. The story is a triumph of data analysis as well as investigative journalism.

Pharmaceutical Breakthroughs with Big Data

Another area in which big data is having a huge impact is in medicine. With it, manufacturers are able to model results and take medications into testing and trials more safely, quickly, and efficiently. They can analyze the molecular structure of a new medication and modify it in novel ways. Technology-assisted pharmaceutical development also breaks down walls between different steps of the process of bringing a new therapy to the marketplace, letting researchers communicate readily throughout discovery, clinical development, and testing phases. Data science has revolutionized modern medicine.

Putting Big Data in Context for Marketers

Information is more than a collection of data; when used correctly, it’s a kind of crystal ball. Data suggested to investigators where to start the search for the truth about allegations of rigged tennis matches. It informs researchers about how to follow the most promising leads while analyzing surprising results that could reveal new uses for existing therapies.

Companies that use marketing automation tools can harness big data’s power in numerous ways too. Like investigative reporters, marketers can track down unusual data and find out what’s causing the anomaly, leading to discoveries of new market segments and pinpointing areas of wasted effort that can now be redirected. Like pharmaceutical researchers, they can construct novel campaigns from the ground up or build on what they know will work by enhancing a prior program’s effectiveness.

Data-driven marketing gives businesses insights that let them choose the most promising paths moving forward. As a predictive tool, it’s already proven its value in other real-world applications. For marketers, gaining insight into the future is vital, and big data is the most effective crystal ball available.

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