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Prediction Engines

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Examples of Big Data in Prediction


More and more these days, the world is turning to big data in order to efficiently predict future events, from presidential races to how to lower crime rates in a feasible manner. Big data is a relatively new term that is used for large sets of data that are not possible to quantify with traditional methods. Working with this kind of data is a complex process, because sharing it, storing it, analyzing it, searching through it, and transferring it is too difficult to do. Big data, however, is one of the top tools we have available today to help us make the most important predictions in health, politics, economics, and much more. We will look at some of the ways big data have helped us in predictions.



Big data has recently become a highly dependable tool when it comes to politics. Most notably, the 2012 presidential elections in the United States used big data and was an important tool that helped Barack Obama win the election. During his presidential campaign, his team of data analysts, which were about a 100 people, ran computer simulations every day to measure everything they could. This information allowed the campaign to see what was happening in the country, who were the people they had to target, and much more.

In India, the Bharatiya Janata Party was also able to win its election in 2014 in the Indian General elections because of the use of big data. The Indian government is well known for utilizing this tool to ascertain how the public is responding to all manner of government actions, which in turn allows candidates to adjust their strategies to target their constituents.

Predicting Crime

Big data has recently become a key tool to predicting crime. Since crime tends to follow certain patterns, when a large amount of data is obtained, it can be easier to predict where the police should focus their attentions. By using statistics and analytics, big data allows people to have a better idea of where crime is to be expected. One of the ways that big data is making this possible is by collecting information about mobile network activity and very basic demographic data. This creates a surprisingly accurate manner in which to predict crime rates for any area in the world.


One of the most successful examples where the use of big data to predict crime was first tested was in London, where scientists used crime data from past years to predict the areas in which future crimes would occur. This model had a rate of 70% accuracy.


In Science

Big data is also utilized in science, especially in medicine, to predict epidemics, and even the risk of diseases in demographics. This has led to being able to offer relief to countries that need it in a more efficient manner.


When it comes to areas like cancer research, big data is making it possible to predict with more accuracy the risks certain individuals face of developing cancer. By analyzing family history, personal history, and by having data from around the world that displays the genetic alterations of certain cancers, it is much easier for scientists and doctors to predict if a particular demographic is more at risk for certain cancers. Recently, there has been a study using big data to predict breast cancer in women which was highly successful. This is a promising step in cancer research, since by better knowing who is at risk, scientists will be better able to recognize how to help them.


The use of big data in these areas of science still has a long way to go to be as effective as we all want it to be. The next steps to take are documenting all the variations of human cells and tissues that respond positively to cancer drugs, and to teach future generations of scientists just how big data can help.


In the Market

Big data is a tool that all companies are beginning to use. By turning to large amounts of relevant data, which can include the most personal information of an individual, a family, or an entire community, business owners can target their ads and their products.


One of the most common ways in which companies use big data for their benefit is every door direct mail, which allows them to choose their demographics in order to best target potential customers. Every door direct mail works by searching through huge amounts of data about a particular area to look for key demographics that might be in need of your services or products. For example, if you run a daycare center, you will want to target households with children. Big data allows you to do just that.


Stores have also begun using big data to predict what their customers will need in the future. By taking into consideration shopping data for each customer, they can easily see what products a particular customer will require. This might seem complex, but since most large stores assign customer IDs to individuals who shop with them, they can easily keep track of everything they purchase.


One of the most recent examples of tailoring ads to specific customers was by Target in 2012, which started sending ads to a teenager who had just become pregnant. These ads offered everything that an expectant mother would need, but it came as a surprise since she hadn’t told anyone about the pregnancy. This kind of data mining is perfectly legal and uses big data to allow companies to predict what their customers will need before they do.



Big data is a tool that is becoming more and more popular as its successes grow. We can easily expect to see big data used to make predictions in future presidential elections around the world, as well as to predict epidemics, and even shopping habits. Whether you are a person with a family history of cancer and want to know how likely you are to develop the disease, or if you want to know which neighborhoods have the highest crime predictions, big data is a powerful tool.


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