All you need to know about big data

Big data is no longer just for the few and largest players in the market. This is information that can be available to ordinary businesses, also in the Norwegian market.

Thanks to rapid digitization and increasing data access, this amount of information is, in theory, accessible to most businesses. But big data is not something you just have available, it is something you use.

Lost track of information?

Almost every company has devices that quickly collect a lot of data and information. In the digital information lies an almost infinite potential for insight and knowledge. However, this could also present challenges for the person holding the information. For example, if you lack an overview, have trouble receiving the amount of new data, find it difficult to find the information at the right time, or are unable to summarize the data and see it in a context, big data techniques can come to your rescue.

Much of the information is readable only for machines and must be decoded and interpreted before it can be read by humans. This can be done if you have sufficient expertise in the field or consult with someone who has the expertise.

Kolumbus covers all public bus and express boat services in Rogaland, and collects large amounts of information about departures, arrivals, and delays every single day. Read more about how we, at Computas, used this information to gain insight into how future delays will develop.

Contextual information and context

The large amounts of data that are constantly being collected must be decoded, and it is essential that the data must be linked to contextual information. It is only when carried out correctly that the information can be used to predict trends and incidents.

Connecting data to contextual information is in many ways the same as putting it in the context of human information. This process requires good methods for managing information so that one can gain insight and act on the basis of the insight. In other words, big data is about linking different data sources, qualitatively, as well as quantitatively.

Make sure you have a good advisor

Big data can give a company valuable insight into company customers, a specific market or internal company matters, but big data also brings a number of challenges, especially morally and ethically. As soon as big data is part of the company’s everyday life, issues related to surveillance and privacy also emerge. The fact that some actors possess such large amounts of information about people can be problematic, at least if the information is of personal or other sensitive nature.

For businesses wanting to use big data, it is therefore important to have a good advisor. This is a role we at Computas are glad to take on. We have solid knowledge of many industries and can give recommendations on what is acceptable in your industry. When POWER made plans for improving their customers’ shopping experience, they wished to use the information they already had about movement patterns to create a good and effective recommendation system.

Good guidelines are important

Many people are afraid to make mistakes when it comes to storing data and information. One rule of thumb to avoid such errors is to bear in mind that if personal data is stored or processed by a mechanical agent, the person concerned must have approved the purpose. Anyone in possession of the content must also be aware that this is sensitive information and manage it accordingly.

Technology can be fantastic, but it is important not to forget that it can also be abused. There is always a risk that someone may abuse the information they have about you. Therefore, it is important that society is updated and has sufficient legislation to prevent harmful use, and not least that we must strive to transfer our ethics and moral foundation to the machines that take our place.

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