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Big Data: How Computers Work to Connect the World

by Jodee Goodwin

As a self-described—and proud—computer enthusiast (a.k.a. nerd), I have always surrounded myself with machines. As early as high school, I began to catch glimpses of how our lust for information would change everything about the way we see, think, and do—and how important it was to understand the myriad ways communication is changing.

The Internet Map – internet-map.net

It doesn’t feel that long ago when I first noticed the shifting trends towards society’s interest in mobile computing. Where once stood the business elite with their Blackberries and Microsoft Exchange email services, there were new devices and services being created for mainstream use.

Fast-forward to today. The ever-marching technological advances have penetrated every aspect of humanity. Companies like Google, Facebook and Netflix have transformed how we see and interact with the world in countless ways only our brightest engineers and science fiction visionaries could have ever imagined. These companies, on the back of modern and open software, have risen to the level of gods and have transcended the physical boundaries by propagating their products throughout the world. This industry is known by an ominous, albeit quite catchy term: Big Data. At this point, Big Data is the unstoppable juggernaut whose unrelenting gaze guides us through our lives in both tangible and unperceivable ways. And it’s just getting started.

Big Data isn’t just about helping us connect with friends to exchange pictures of cats or catching up on the new season of “Frasier” (as if… a man can dream!). It’s the momentum of our society as a whole as we move headlong into the future. At its fundamental core, Big Data is a blanket term we use for the science of information and communication in the modern era. The Internet was once a loose collection of computers owned, operated and maintained by the most prestigious computer science research groups but now includes billions of machines in pockets, cars, airplanes, and data centers across the globe.

Making Your Mark

Playing ball with the tech giants can be the first step for companies to extend a global reach. As the proportion of workforce members behind a screen increases, so too does the potential to be noticed at the right place and time. This makes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) paramount, too, especially when used in concert with aggressive advertising via Google’s AdWords and Analytics, Facebook’s Social Advertising and other conversion software to ensure brands are reaching out to the right people.

Gone are the days of looking at web technologies as a novelty. The working knowledge of the interplay between these systems is key to unlocking the full potential of any business on the global stage. Web applications can help automate key tasks from your business and sales conversions. Instead of “interrupting” potential clients, we can now leverage powerful software offerings to help them find us. On top of all this, carefully crafting your message is the key to retaining attention once you DO attract the interest of a potential client.

We are being ushered to the next plane of communication. Where once we fought to learn and master the basics of speech, we now must learn to leverage Big Data to communicate better than our predecessors.

People Behind the Screens

Big Data is ushering in new users at a staggering rate.

And our technological industries are learning to identify those users with pinpoint accuracy, providing them a seamless experience which many (especially younger) people blur the line between physical and virtual reality.

Big Data is becoming so ingrained in our culture that most who’ve grown up in the information age have a personal association with data that removes the “burden” of interaction almost entirely. Look around at the next graduation or dinner meet up. Already our newest generation of infants is being taught to interact with data by touch and sound.

What Does It All Mean?

So, what does the rise of Big Data ultimately mean for the consumer and the business owner? Like never before, businesses can accurately connect with hopeful leads and clients while transcending physical location, office hours, workforce strength and internal politics—saving time and money while connecting brands at an efficiency unachievable by our past standards and practices.

What matters now is the data we are crafting on our own behalf, and how we want that data to propagate into the world. The message is what matters, and employing everything in your power to get it to the right place. Working with experts to discover the market trends that you can leverage to share your message is the most important step a business can take to transform ideas into reality.