How Big Data Is Affecting the Global Economy

big data

by Lewis Robinson

The modern world has found itself in the middle of a surge in data analytics. Institutions, organizations, and businesses that are utilizing big data have, in the recent past, experienced significant growth. It is estimated that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are collected each day. Comprehending such a volume of data is hard, let alone using it. Organizations around the world have been eager to utilize big data analytics to achieve their objectives. As a result, significant changes are being witnessed in the global economy, where some are below the surface and others obvious. According to experts, these are signs of how revolutionary data analytics can be. The global economy should expect even more changes as big data analytics takes off.

New Occupations and Careers

The more companies adopt data-driven strategies; the more highly trained personnel are needed to handle it. Data scientists are among the newest professionals in the global market, and everyone wants the best for their company or institution. The demand for data scientists is on the rise, partly because of the shortage of individuals knowledgeable about big data. That high demand has resulted in high salaries for big data experts, with a median salary of over $100,000 per month. Being a data scientist is one of the lucrative careers in the 21st century. Big data has, in short, allowed the entire global economy to flourish.

Improved Law Enforcement and Security

One thing that concerns organizations and businesses around the world is security. Considering the instances of data breaches reported every year, there is a reason for that concern. However, companies can now use big data analytics to prevent potential data breaches and minimize the damage caused by attacks that get through. Law enforcers have as well gained a significant boost from big data analytics. Security companies that utilize big data analytics effectively can spot vulnerable areas where attacks are likely to occur. That allows law enforcers to put the necessary measures before an attack occurs. Companies that have adopted big data analytics have seen a significant decline in violent crimes and burglaries.

Poverty Eradication

Besides improved health, big data analytics also contributes to the living standards of people around the world. Non-profit organizations are now taking data from developing nations to find areas where people need financial, education, health, and development aid. With this information, non-profit organizations can offer assistance to areas that are struck by health catastrophes and natural disasters. Other countries are using big data to fight government corruption, which often impedes relief efforts and cause extreme poverty levels.

New Business Opportunities

Business entities were the first to realize the potential of big data analytics. Companies around the world are already using big data, but some have not utilized it to its full potential. Improvements that big data brings about can be in the form of a better understanding of consumers, new innovative products and services, improved management, and more efficient operations. The effects of big data adoption are already evident among companies in some ways. For example, retail stores are using real-time adjustable pricing as a way of providing their consumers with services and products. Others are using search engine-driven text analysis and machine learning to improve their online shopping experience.

Breakthrough in the Health Sector

Big data analytics is not confined to business operations. Health professionals and doctors believe that they can utilize big data analytics for health data in the same way marketers use it for marketing. The result would be improved personalized healthcare, which is similar to how enterprises approach their audiences through target marketing. Personalized healthcare often results in better care and detailed data that can be shared among health professionals. Shareable information ensures that health professionals have all the necessary information to offer better healthcare and support each other.

New Forms of Exchange Value and Trade

Uses of data and the role it plays in the global economy are as varied as the entities that compile it and its sources. Sometimes data in the data-driven economy is the product or service itself. Data can sometimes be monetized, which means its value can be recorded in books of accounts. However, most of the current uses of data do not involve ensuing paper trail in the form of receipts and invoices. Worst, existing economic accounting systems understate the significance of data in the global economy. Big data is traded across borders as an increment to intangible capital and in other ways as a new mode of barter trade transactions. The global economy, however, has to renovate its formal economic models and financial accounts to realize the potential of big data analytics. The pace at which the global digital economy has been unfolding has outstripped traditional experience-based policies. That has given rise to commensurate social-economic challenges and severe socio-economic risks.

Use of Big Data in the Government

One of the reasons the private sector has already had a head-start is because of constant interaction with consumers.  For example, Google has large amounts of data gathered of each individual. This data includes search preferences, pictures, emails, online shopping, and more.  Facebook also has gathered large amounts of data on consumers – this includes activities, marital status, pictures, occupation, and so forth. The state does not have as much interaction as these companies do. For defenders of individual liberty, it will thus be interesting to see, to say the least, how the use of big data will affect the global economy.

Lewis Robinson graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance.


The views expressed on austriancenter.com are not necessarily those of the Austrian Economics Center.

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