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9 Ways Big Data Applications Extend Beyond the IT Industry

Amanda Clark-Rudolph

Amanda Clark-Rudolph


Think Big Data is only used in the IT industry? Think again. The reality is that Big Data goes far beyond IT and has the potential to be in EVERY industry and sector, including Sports, HR, Marketing, Finance, Legal, and Agriculture.

But First, What Exactly is Big Data?

The National Standards of Technology reports that Big Data makes up “extensive datasets—primarily in the characteristics of volume, velocity, and/or variability—that require a scalable architecture for efficient storage, manipulation, and analysis.”

In layman’s terms, Big Data represents a significant chunk of information that needs to be stored and analyzed. We’re talking algorithms, statistics, data mining, and more.

How is This Done?

Back in the day, it took some time for large supercomputers to analyze Big Data, but now with advanced clouding computing systems and advanced technology, results can be immediate. Conveniently, any organization or business has the potential to analyze Big Data with accessible software.

To prove it, here are 9 ways Big Data applications extend beyond the IT Industry.


From discovering your perfect target market to analyzing the competition, Big Data plays a prominent role in marketing strategies. So much so that many companies budget for social media analysis to research their customers, popular trends, and more.

Marketers also use Big Data to discover insights into their target market’s behavior and even use it to suggest relatable products to customers – Think Amazon’s suggestion list.


Imagine if you could predict a judge’s actions based on previous cases, decisions, etc. Some firms believe you can and use Big Data software to do so.

According to a survey done by Above the Law and Bloomberg Law, 70 percent of the participants agreed that analytics had given their firm “a competitive advantage”.

A little Minority Reportish, yes, but nonetheless, a game-changer for the legal industry and “justice.”


Any teacher or administrator knows that the educational field analyzes A LOT of data. From students’ test scores and grades to emerging behavioral trends, educators are always finding ways to make sense of a massive amount of info.

Examples of Big Data educational systems include:

  • Grading platforms– Many schools now have a grading platform that not only provides students, parents, and faculty, instant access to grades, but many of these platforms provide comparison tools such as graphs that can analyze students’ performances.
  • Performance monitoring– Many programs online allow students to do their work while tracking their time spent on the activity. These programs may evaluate a student’s overall understanding through a quiz that offers instant feedback.


Due to increased fraud, banks are upping cybersecurity. Conveniently, Big Data systems can analyze anything from suspicious credit card spending habits and money transfers.

Banking institutions also use Big Data to track customers’ spending habits, so they can recommend personalized products each month, cha-ching!

And let’s not forget the stock market. The Journal of Big Data states that Big Data systems are capable of predicting market outcomes, identifying trading volumes, and forecasting market trends. Big Data programs can also calculate market risk, monitor stock movements, and more.


Did you know that the government uses Big Data programs to analyze the following?

  • Terrorism
  • Unemployment
  • Climate change

And those are only a few ways the government analyzes massive amounts of information.

Other examples: The Food Drug Administration utilizes a Big Data system to estimate the chances of foodborne illnesses. And, the Federal Housing Authority uses analytics for monitoring positive cash flow.


Have you ever seen MoneyBall? In this blockbuster flick inspired by a true story, Oakland A’s manager, Billy Beane, uses data on hundreds of baseball players to collect statistics. He sifts through all this data and discovers an algorithm that’s highly predictive of how many runs each player can score.

In real life, his clever number-crunching tactics led to reduced spending and four American League West titles in six years!

And Big Data plays a role in other sports. For example, the NFL recently partnered with the tech firm Zebra and installed RFID data sensors in ALL NFL arenas and players’ shoulder pads! These high-tech sensors provide data on players’ speed and acceleration.


Big Data programs analyze DNA in minutes leading to cures and advanced medical capabilities. More recently, Big Data has helped during COVID – 19. As Forbes stated, “The near real-time COVID-19 trackers that continuously pull data from sources around the world are helping healthcare workers, scientists, epidemiologists, and policymakers aggregate and synthesize incident data on a global basis.”

Furthermore, GPS tracking provides insights into a given area’s compliance with shutdowns and social distancing.


Ever heard of smart farming? Turns out Big Data has made its way to agriculture.

Science Direct reported that farming uses Big Data to “redesign business processes” and “drive real-time operational decisions.”

Here how Big Data helps farmers:

  • Discovering rain patterns
  • Calculating fertilizer requirements
  • Identify ideal crops based on consumer behavior


Let’s face it, the way we listen to music has changed since making mixed tapes and sporting a bulky Walkman.

Now, you don’t even need to download the latest single, and sites like Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music automatically generate recommendation lists. These applications are pros at predicting your musical taste based on your previous listening patterns. No, these companies don’t use fortune tellers, they take advantage of Big Data.

In fact, Spotify LEADS Big Data in the music industry, sporting over 28 petabytes of data! We know, that’s a whole lot of songs.

The Takeaway

Big Data extends beyond the IT industry because It. Is. EVERYWHERE. And any company or organization benefits from analyzing information.

Want to find out more about Big Data and how it affects our world? Read more articles around this topic on our blog.

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