Four Industries Being Transformed by Big Data

While industries like science and marketing have long implemented the use of big data, others are just starting to integrate it into their activities. Four areas that are being transformed by big data are healthcare, fintech, sports and software, and SaaS. Here are the key ways they’re using big data.

1. Healthcare

In healthcare, leveraging big data has led to increases in operations efficiency, improved patient health through better diagnoses and treatments, improved profits and reductions in overhead. Used in conjunction with advanced mathematical models, making use of data results in epidemic predictions and disease-spread forecasts that help medical personnel prevent disease.

Applied to many diseases, including cancer, big data analysis is helping develop treatments and potentially lead to cures. Big data also contributes to emerging health care delivery models, such as telemedicine and telesurgery. The sum total of these advances is improvements in meeting healthcare’s three overarching goals: improving the patient experience and the population’s health and reducing healthcare per-capita costs.

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2. Fintech

In fintech, firms use big data with predictive analytics in a number of ways. The large volume of data available lets fintech firms examine historical data over the long term, resulting in improved decision making. Using these massive data sets also improves customer service, especially in the peer-to-peer lending industry. Financial institutions analyze big data to determine what services matter most to customers and how best to deliver them. Finally, fintech firms use data to document their own worth and to back up assertions in their business plans in order to obtain funding for expansion.

3. Sports

The sports world combines smart technologies with big data to spur improved play. Smart sensors are embedded in players’ uniforms and safety equipment to track their movements. The amassed data can be analyzed in many ways, including:

  • By game
  • By player
  • Cumulatively, by position
  • Cumulatively, by season
  • Cumulatively, in multiple seasons


Data analysis provides a granular view of player habits, positional learning, and team interaction. Purchasing the data set for opposing teams enables detailed analysis of their play that helps coaches come up with improved strategies and plays. The Oakland Athletics successfully applied big data analysis to its recruiting, resulting in a recruitment class that better integrated with existing players as related in the book “Moneyball.”

4. Software and SaaS

Software data sets can quickly become so large and complex that traditional data storage and processing tools simply can’t handle them anymore. That’s why having a data scientist on staff is vital. Their knowledge of analytics, ability to design Hadoop database and prowess with Microsoft Polybase and Impala help firms leverage big data. Polybase enables users to conduct queries of SQL relational databases and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) systems using common extended SQL syntax, while Impala enables users to use SQL over a Hadoop database.

The four industries of healthcare, fintech, sports and software, and SaaS represent a small fraction of those benefiting from implementing big data. Let their uses spur ideas for ways your industry can make use of big data.

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