Academicians, prominent stakeholders, investors, and business owners of large and small enterprises agree that big data has become an influential game changer over the past few years. In fact, the big debate has now shifted for the hype surrounding the real-time nature of big data into how it has helped businesses position themselves in the competition by applying it in their day-to-day operations. While understanding the impact of big data, the necessary skills and the ROI of utilizing big data keeps growing for most businesses, especially startups that are yet to adopt big data analytics.

A 2015 Gartner Survey shows that about 75% of business enterprises have already invested or plan to invest in big data within the next two years. This is a substantial improvement from a similar survey conducted in 2012, which concluded that only 58% of businesses had shown interest in big data’s viability. Some of the primary goals of investing in big data include enhancing customer service experience, better digital infrastructure security, cost reduction, improved targeted marketing strategies and boosting efficiency in business processing solutions. Here is an overview of how some businesses in their respective industry verticals are applying big data tools in their operations:

Healthcare service providers

There is massive data generated in this sector on a daily basis. If the data could be utilized adequately, it could have reduced the ever escalating healthcare costs and enhance the efficiency in its systems. The available digital data is either unusable or unutilized to better healthcare services across the board.

However, companies or healthcare facilities that have embraced the big data tools to link the data that shows various patterns in the medical field with health-related information have succeeded in facilitating operational efficiency. People can easily monitor their heart rates or track their health and fitness progresses by using their smartphones due to the agility of big data. Some hospitals use the collected data from mobile devices in administering evidence-based medical care instead of the tedious and time-consuming lab tests.

Banking and securities

Some of the notable challenges in these specialties include card fraud, trade visibility, tick analytics, IT policy compliance, audit trails, data transformation, and social data analytics for trading, among others. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) utilizes the insights generated from big data analytics to monitor the activity of financial markets. It’s possible for SEC to identify illegal activity in the financial markets by using language processors and network analytics.

Multinational banks, stock traders, and hedge funds can also use predictive analytics and measurement of sentiments in making informed decisions during their trade analytics. The sector has also been able to curb money laundering, mitigate fraud, and manage risks by relying on the ” Know Your Customer” methods.

Communication and entertainment

This sector has faced various challenges such as analyzing consumer insights, leveraging social media content optimally, and real-time understanding of media content consumption. In a bid to provide rich-media content that meets target market demands, players in this industry are utilizing big data tools to analyze customer data alongside behavioral patterns so as to create content for different target audiences and generate customized recommendations for their markets. For example, Spotify uses the worldwide satellite internet integrated with a big data analytics tool to collect data from its users from across the globe worldwide before creating personalized music recommendations to individual users.


Staff and stakeholders in the education sector have also learned how to incorporate big data analytics into their systems to improve efficiency and access to the right learning materials suitable for their students. Although there has been a challenge in integrating content from different vendors and platforms that were not designed to align with one another, sophisticated big data tools have made the process easier and faster. For example, a teacher’s performance can be measured to ensure a better experience for both the student and the teacher by using variables such as subject matter, behavioral patterns, student demographics, and classification.


Having a bird’s eye view of big data enables businesses to see the broader picture in embracing big data so as to stay ahead of the competition. By learning from these examples, businesses can apply and utilize helpful big data tools in their respective industry operations.


by: Kevin Faber