Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"May the force (of big data) be with you" via @ShradhaMukherj7

Dr Shradha Mukherjee provides us with a really interesting article in the DataCamp Official Blog about the "Top 10 Breakthroughs in Big Data Science in 2017". Google searches for "Big Data" now result in a similar number of results as does searches for "Star Wars". The list of breakthroughs, according to Mukherjee, makes for interesting reading - here are her "Top 10":
  1. Are we alone in the universe?
  2. Wonder how the dolphins are doing?
  3. Will this cancer medication really work?
  4. Can we predict the next severe thunderstorm and tornado?
  5. How to increase safety and minimize crimes?
  6. Is this a new species of plant?
  7. Can molecular structure predict smell of the molecule?
  8. Where did the constitution come from?
  9. Which is the best city to celebrate Christmas in U.S.?
  10. What's the risk of a second heart attack?
All of these questions are being answered with data! The list contains some trivial and serious questions, and I'll not reproduce all the details here - readers can go to the link at the top of this post to read the lot. However, two are most interesting for me: #5 and #9. I never believed that analytics could be used to predict crime, yet police in Vancouver are doing just this. They are using data mining to predict where "crimes are likely to occur" - a valuable tool I think you'll agree in the fight against crime. Imagine police shouting warnings to criminals along the lines of "Armed police - we have you surrounded with data"!

Chicago is the best of 100 cities in the United States to celebrate Christmas. Using 29 parameters, such as "affordability, number of Christmas events, shopping deals", a profile of each city can be built up to come out with the highest score (and best city). The cool thing about this is that any data analyst can do this and create a system of rating cities. You could gather/mine/scrape date from a variety of sources and come up with new and different "Top 100" lists. Imagine doing this for: best city to buy a book in, best city to go to the toilet in, best city for free stuff, and best city for creamy pints of Guinness! The list is endless!

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