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Top 10 Industries Benefiting from Big Data and Analytics

This article looks at ten industries where Big Data is transforming companies and challenging existing companies — analytics and Big Data rapid ingest and data volume are game changers.

There is a lot of noise on the Internet about Big Data: it’s the next big thing, it’s going to change how you work, it’s going to disrupt everything. There’s certainly a lot of truth in the idea that Big Data will have a big impact, but all the hype can feel a little abstract. So, in order to give you a clearer idea of how data insights and predictive analytics are actually changing industries, we’ve drawn up a list of the kinds of businesses that are benefiting from data the most.

Until very recently, most companies simply didn’t have the tools or the know-how to analyze and explore the data they were collecting. Even if they could collect broad sales figures and customer information, drilling down into that data and really getting insights from it was time-consuming and required a data scientist with a Ph.D. However, an explosion in data analytics tools has changed the game, and now anyone with a little training can create powerful visualizations from company data and use these to reroute company strategy.

So, which industries are now benefiting from data insights and most importantly, how?

1. Travel

The travel industry has always depended on treating statistics to provide the best possible service. Using data to predict when people will travel, where and how means companies can provide the exact service their customers need at the best time and at the right price.

How Is Data Being Used?

Say you run a train company. By using historical data collected on customer journeys you can predict when there will be higher and lower demand for fares. Of course, train companies have always done this to a degree, but predictive analytics can help you dig down into even greater detail and give you the edge over competitors in a tight market.

2. Energy

The energy industry needs to find a constant balance between providing the right amount of energy. Too much and you lose profit, too little supply and your customers will find another provider fast.

How Is Data Being Used?

Most power plants have a fairly good idea of when demand is higher and lower. This is no secret, but using data insights can help make energy provisions even more efficient and significantly cut costs. Again, by studying historical demand, power plants can predict minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour energy demands depending on anything from the season to time of day, then use this to provide the exact quantity of energy required.

See a sample Building Management energy consumption dashboard as an example.

3. Insurance

The insurance industry has always depended on math to calculate insurance costs. However, this usually depended on the history of the client in particular and other internal data sources.

How Is Data Being Used?

Imagine you provide home insurance. Traditional insurance would be calculated on risk based on crime statistics, credit scores and loss histories. However, by using more powerful data analytics tools you can incorporate an even wider array of sources to build an even more specific picture of risk-related to one customer in particular.

Check out this Insurance Enrollment Analytics sample dashboard.

4. Finance

Finance has always been about numbers, but complex algorithms that can collect data from an ever wider number of sources help inform and support trading decisions.

How Is Data Being Used?

Use live and historical data feeds to alert yourself to new opportunities faster than humans can read, and discover new opportunities while gaining a competitive edge.

You can find some sample Finance dashboards here.

5. Agriculture

Agriculture is defined by fine margins. Being able to predict variables such as crop prices, pesticide quantities and the health of livestock will help farmers develop a much clearer picture of their expected costs and losses year on year.

How Is Data Being Used?

To cut waste, farmers can use data and predictive analytics to have a better idea of exactly how much food will be required to ration out feed to livestock. By providing animals with the correct amount of food – neither too little nor too much – farmers will be able to save considerable sums and reduce risk while raising healthy animals.

6. Health

Providing the right healthcare at the right times is essential, and so being able to analyze large and up to date datasets to discover trends in the population can help provide better support for public safety.

How Is Data Being Used?

Data can be used to analyze long-term trends – such as aging populations in advanced economies – and help policy makers and practitioners re-orientate their skills and methods to the needs of a different kind of patient.

7. Mining

With the success and failure of mining companies so dependent on the unpredictable value of raw materials, data analytics can be very useful in cutting costs and providing more long-term security.

How Is Data Being Used?

By using data to better plan their logistics, mining companies can improve their preparation for delivery of their wares from the ground to the buyer.

8. Education

Education is one of the largest markets in the world, yet educators have often failed to see how data can help them provide better and more appropriate services to students.

How Is Data Being Used?

When students move from one classroom to another and meet different teachers throughout the day, it can be hard to keep track of an individual student’s progress. However, numerous apps are using data collected in school to provide teachers with a more unified insight into their students’ academic progress and allow them to spot problems and provide additional support when needed.

9. Telecoms

Telecom companies have access to a huge amount of customer data, and so by using tools to analyze this they can provide even more personalized services that users actually want.

How Is Data Being Used?

In the past, providing telecoms was relatively straightforward – you connected a customer to the network and allowed them to contact their friends, relatives, and business associates. However, with the emergence of the Internet and ever more devices for communicating, telecom providers need to offer much more diversity in the services they offer. Data analytics can help them with this by segmenting the market ever more accurately and providing the exact deals different customers will want.

10. Retail

No industry embodies the basic elements of supply and demand better than retail. Data has always been used to understand how customers are buying, but data analytics will help this become even more accurate.

How Is Data Being Used?

Internet of Things shelf scanners are increasingly able to tell stores how empty or full their stocks are. Retail data analytics will then allow stores to always provide the exact amounts of product needed.




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