Tag Archives: Big data

Big data is becoming bigger than Texas!!

18 Jun

I’ve been meaning to write this one for quite some time and maybe by writing about it, i can forget about it.

Let me explain, i was going to write about ‘Big data’ after hearing about it through Craig Rispin’s mentoring group.

In case your not familiar with this term, ‘Big data‘ is all about making sense of data sets so large that before could not be processed with previous technology. And now, not only that, this data can be visualized, its quite amazing stuff, some examples would be.

In America, Target know when women are pregnant before they do, one guy rang Target to tell them his daughter was only sixteen, turns out she was pregnant. Target have a stragety of getting pregnant women into their store three times before they have the baby, so they like to get a jump start on things.

Someone is pregnant in there, can you see it?


But dont believe me, check out David Mc Candless, you might like to check out his ‘The meaning of colours in cultures’ or ‘The consensus of the 10 top top 100 book charts’

Check out the full list here

Big data

Law firms are now mining big data to understand aspects of law they could before never imagined, mining without getting your fingers dirty, nice!

Not the kind of mining i’m on about


James Surowiecki wrote a book about ‘The wisdom of crowds’,

The opening anecdote relates Francis Galton‘s surprise that the crowd at a county fair accurately guessed the weight of an ox when their individual guesses were averaged (the average was closer to the ox’s true butchered weight than the estimates of most crowd members, and also closer than any of the separate estimates made by cattle experts

If you can measure the crowd, your on to something.

In England, they can track crowds from helicopters to understand what people are doing, where to put services and how better to serve the tax payer, big brother is watching and he’s watching what you ‘Like’ on Face book too, but thats another story…



This is beautiful people, one of the the application for this in medicine

Just think, there are:

  • 19, 599 genes in your body (mine too)
  • Genes make up your gnome
  • Proteins in your body make up your proteome (which is called ‘proteomics’)
  • 200,000 types of RNA are produced in your body
  • Each RNA strand encodes 200,000 proteins

Genes in themselves dont make us who we are, instead they produce proteins, that are dispatched in the body to the genetic will

Its a geometric expansion that gives you 40 billion proteins, and this is why you need big data, there are hundreds of different varieties of proteins in a different cell.

Mapping the gnome consumed terabytes, proteomics will easily reach petabytes (ouch, that a lot of bytes, more than a mosquito in your tent on a summers night!!)

This of this, for hundreds of years, the progress of medicine was restrained by the lack of information. Today, we have so much data, not enough information, the amount of data at the molecular level is beyond the analytical capabilities, and now this data can be turned into knowledge.

And it continues, Epigenetics is the mechanism which the environment alters the behaviour of our genes, it involves a process known as methylation, which occurs when a chemical known as ‘Methyl’ which floats around inside of our cellsattaces to our DNA.

When it does, it turns down the activity of a gene and blocks it from making a particular version of protein in our genes.

All sorts of things can affect DNA methylation in our bodies, such as:

  • Diet
  • Illness
  • Aging
  • Chemicals in the environment
  • Smoking
  • Drugs and medicines

Big data can make sense of it all!!!

And this morning i read how the police are able to use SAP big data analysis of mobile phone tower information in conjunction with reported crimes and come up a list of one or two possible suspects, you wouldn’t need a police force, just one guy to go out and arrest the gulty guy as soon as he did something!

Oh, the savings to the tax payers!


There is no point running criminals, just give up!


The Australian Tax office was using this technology years ago to prove cases of fraud without any proof

And maybe i can forget all about Big data, but i’d seriously doubt it…

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