Big data is revolutionizing the world as we know it, and data scientists are now part of one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. Harnessing the true power of data analytics can deliver life-saving insights and billions of dollars’ worth of cost and efficiency savings, so how are different industries using data to drive this?
As one of Australia's fastest growing sectors, the healthcare industry is sitting on an unfathomable amount of data – accounting for almost 30% of the world’s stored data. Analysts have stated that a single patient can generate around 80 megabytes of medical data per year, and this number will only keep growing.
McKinsey estimated that through the correct analysis and use of data, the healthcare industry could save between $300 billion to $450 billion in reduced spending alone. In the US alone, this amounts to a huge 12-17% of the $2.6 trillion baseline in costs. Big data has the potential to provide life-saving insights, such as preventing human errors, increased efficiency in assessing high-risk patients, reducing costs and using data for preventative measures.
Recently, big data has been driving efficiency in commercial aviation, providing invaluable insights that airlines can apply to improve their fuel efficiency, wastage, route planning and, of course, to reduce costs and increase revenue.
With a single flight collecting up to 30 million data points, the aviation industry is dependent on data to survive. There are countless factors that an airline needs to analyze when considering profitability, such as labor, fuel efficiency, delays, maintenance, weather and the relationship between these factors.
In 2016, Qantas partnered with GE Aviation to trial FlightPulse, a data mining tool designed to link pilots to their flight data. It works by merging complex data and crew schedules, giving the pilots a chance to visualize data and conduct their own analysis. As a result of this partnership with GE technology, Qantas reported a 1% reduction in fuel spend this year and expects this to double next year.
Smart cities and the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been making our lives increasingly connected with technology such as Amazon's Alexa, IBM's Watson, driverless cars and facial recognition. But, what happens when this technology is used to connect buildings, stadiums and even cities?
Smart buildings use software to analyze thousands of sensors that generate and collect data on energy usage, space utilization and occupant productivity. They monitor everything from heating and elevators to coffee machines, gathering valuable insights that lead to efficiency and energy savings.
An example of this is Croke Park football stadium in Dublin, which has been collaborating with the GAA, Dublin City University, Intel and Microsoft to pave the way for smarter cities across the world. The smart stadium project uses data from strategically positioned sensors throughout the stadium that deliver insights, such as measuring noise levels in real time, using CCTV to monitor and control crowd movement, and even collecting data that uses machine learning algorithms to predict where and when to light the pitch for optimal growth.
Big data is transforming industries across the world and an online Master of Data Science at James Cook University is designed for those who want to future-proof their career in the business or research arena with sought-after data skills. The accelerated learning model makes this the fastest part-time course in Australia and puts professionals who recognize the power of data ahead of the pack.