February 5, 2018

7 Industries transformed by Big Data

Mary Creighton

We’ve all heard about big data, but how exactly is it being used by businesses? In this blog, we take a look at seven key industries to find out.

big data tranforms industries


Every time we visit the doctor, go to the hospital or receive a prescription, we’re creating data. There are huge volumes of health data available that can be used to identify trends and patterns — ones which could potentially be used to identify at-risk patients and save lives. The main challenges for the industry at the moment is collecting this data electronically and utilising it in an efficient way. But if these problems are addressed, it could well have a huge impact on healthcare as a whole.


This industry is one hugely dependent on understanding consumers decisions and patterns of behaviour and, as such, can benefit hugely from the use of big data. For example, using data insights from social media, sensors and wifi data can help drive sales through improved store experiences and marketing. Other areas big data can be applied include optimised staffing, reduced fraud and inventory analysis.


Big data is changing manufacturing in a number of exciting ways, from predictive modelling to supply chain efficiency. One successful example comes from the Australian mining company Rio Tinto, who saved $90 million by analysing lab data, log sheets, control systems, maintenance systems and more to create a common operational picture. The automotive industry also changing thanks to data, with manufacturers analysing data to improve portfolio planning, quality and marketing.


Big data has the potential to impact savvy insurance companies across the board. Risk analysis is the key one, with big data helping companies understand risks and rewards more precisely than ever, but it can also be used to identify fraud. For customers, it could lead to reduced claim times, more personalised services and faster timings.


In an industry where crop yields are the difference between profit and loss, big data can play a huge role. Agriculturalists are able to pinpoint exactly what’s gone right or wrong and use it to refine processes. Farmers can also collect real-time data about machinery performance and see if it needs servicing.

Banking and finance

Big data is hitting the banking industry in a variety of ways, from fraud and security to customer data and credit risk reporting. For traders and hedge funds, it is having a big influence on trade analytics. Meanwhile, regulatory bodies such as the Security Exchange Commission are using it to monitor financial market activity and to spot any illegal trading. On a consumer level, big data is improving personalisation and increasing engagement for online banking services.

Media and communications

Media companies have good access to large sets of data from social media platforms, TV and websites. They use it to define and create content for specific target audiences, recommend content and monitor content performance. Music streaming service Spotify, for example, has used big data analytics to give music recommendations to individual users.

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Topics: Digitalization, Big Data