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Data Availability and Its Use in People’s Life

The Importance of Data Availability

Most people do not realize just how much data has been collected about them and their neighbors and everyone else on this planet. From our supermarket spending habits to how and where we bank even to what websites we visit; everything that we do is collected for analysis. Data availability is huge; there are many millions of bits of data about us all and businesses and other bodies use this data to try to predict just about everything in our lives.

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From deciding what products to put beside which other products to boost sales to even trying to influence our voting behavior; data and using data analysis is a vital factor in just about everything today. The days of “let’s give it a shot” are long gone; businesses and other bodies will now try to analyze available data or conduct data-based modeling to discover what their best options are and how to ensure that what they do is perfectly targeted to maximize their success and of course profits.

The Problem with Data Availability

We are literally drowning in data and many people do not have the faintest idea of how to use that data in an effective manner. While when you were at school and you had to draw a bar chart to show what the most popular car color was based on observing the colors of cars that passed you for a few minutes; businesses today literally have billions of individual pieces of data. Imagine how much data your local supermarket chain has gathered on the spending habits of all of its customers over the years. Collecting that data is the easy part of the equation; analyzing it and finding meaningful information from it is the hard part.

Data Mining and Other Techniques

With huge data availability comes new problems for analysis and there are now many different highly automated software packages that will sift through big data sets looking for relationships between the data that has been collected. Using data mining and even newer techniques such as Topographical Data Analysis (TDA) or scientific data analysis allow companies and even places such as medical facilities to uncover relationships that they would otherwise miss. This massive data availability and analysis has allowed places like supermarkets to discover many things about how we behave and things such as if they put diapers next to beer they will increase the sales of beer for instance. Analysis of quantitative data and simple visualization techniques uncovers information that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. While the improvements may be small even a fraction of a percent can make a huge difference to a large corporation.

Concerns Regarding Data Availability

There are many people that are highly concerned regarding the amount of data that is being gathered about all of us. They fear that this data is being used to snoop on them or even to control us in some manner. But in general most of this data is not being used to look at an individual but as to how whole groups of people behave. Businesses are looking for trends and improvements that they can make to increase their profits and typically that means that they are going to better provide us what we need. While people complain about things like cookies on our computers that allow Google and other companies to better target advertising they also need to realize that this is actually a better thing. Would you rather see advertising that is related to what you are looking for something that is of zero interest to you. While data availability may be scary to some it is a vital part of our life and how business works.

Learn everything about using data analysis today!