Big Data with smartphones

Mobile technology is having a huge impact on our lives and our society – along with changing the way we think about data and use the massive amounts of information generated by that technology. Experts have been taking note of the mobile phenomena and the impact on our culture. Our technology is changing the way we think and interact with each other, and it’s also providing new ways to store, retrieve and analyze the massive amount of information generated every year. In traveling for business, I have been through a lot of different airports and cities all over the U.S. Airports and shuttle buses were once noisy places with excited people having friendly chats. That is changing. I’m noticing that people are not interacting with each other as much as they used to. Most folks traveling today have their noses buried in their smartphones as they access information over the Internet, check emails, read company documents or simply play games. We are constantly accessing information from our mobile devices and becoming heavily reliant on the business and personal information we find on the Internet or access via the cloud. These activities generate massive amounts of data that needs to be stored and can be used for big data analysis.

Every text, every search, every phone call, every email and every picture or video you upload or share is stored. If you consider each smartphone user will generate about 60 gigabytes of data each year, times the six billion devices (not counting notebooks, notepads and other devices), we generate and store more than 335 exabytes of information every year with smartphones alone. That’s really BIG data. All that data needs to be stored somewhere, which means the storage industry is in a race to provide higher and higher densities of data storage devices at lower costs, and data deduplication technology is becoming even more important. The good news is that data we create via smartphones can be put to good use. Smartphone usage patterns helped researchers in Africa determine where malaria outbreaks were occurring and where the affected people went. In this manner, researchers could determine where to best distribute medicines more efficiently. This is a great example of how big data analysis can be put to good use and have a positive impact on humanity. Soon, as mobile devices are used more frequently to purchase goods and services, the information generated will be mined to determine where you go to shop, what your interests are and even what brand of coffee you like, so advertisers and others can pinpoint your wants and desires.