Big Data to Become a Bigger Deal over Time

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NEW YORK, NY: A new book entitled “Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think,” written by Oxford scholar Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier of The Economist, and recently reviewed in The Wall Street Journal, illustrates the power of using data to find correlations in disparate applications. The book notes the ability of technology firm Google to predict flu outbreaks from Internet search patterns (such as on the phrase “cold medicine”) and Walmart noting that toaster pastries are generally bought with flashlights before storms. While it is hard to show the cause of these actions, the correlation becomes clear through the data. As Industrial and Systems Engineers (ISEs) are trained to work with data, through analysis and optimization techniques, and the influence of “big data” grows, ISEs are poised to play a big role in the future economy.