Big data in business


  • Inzicht verwerven in de impact van Big Data op bedrijf en mens
  • Het beheersen van terminologie, concepten en technologie
  • Inzicht in de relatie tussen Internet of Things en Big Data


Deze module biedt een overzicht van Big Data: Hoe krijg je er een voordeel uit. We leggen enkel termen, concepten en technologie uit die aanleiding heeft gegeven tot de opkomst van big data. We zijn allen Big Data aan het genereren, en we gebruiken het allen, zonder het te beseffen. Hoe heeft big data reeds vandaag een impact op bedrijven en mensen?

Video Transcript


Recommendation engines

Have you ever searched for or bought a product on Amazon? Did you notice that Amazon started making recommendations related to the product you searched for? Recommendation engines are a common application of big data. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify use algorithms based on big data to make specific recommendations based on customer preferences and historical behavior.



Virtual personal assistants


Personal assistants like Siri on Apple devices use big data to devise answers to the infinite number of questions end users may ask.

Google now makes recommendations based on the big data on a user's device. Now that we have an idea of how consumers are using big data, let's take a look at how big data is impacting business.



Changing the way businesses compete and operate

  • In 2011, McKinsey & Company said that big data was going to become the key basis of competition supporting new waves of productivity growth and innovation.
  • In 2013, UPS announced that it was using data from customers, drivers and vehicles in a new route guidance system aimed to save time, money and fuel.


Initiatives like this one support the statement that big data will fundamentally change

the way businesses compete and operate.


How does a firm gain a competitive advantage?


Have you ever heard of the Netflix show called House of Cards? The first season of the show was released in 2013 and it was an immediate hit. At the time, the New York Times reported that Netflix executives knew that House of Cards would be a hit before they even filmed it, but how do they know that? Big data.

Netflix has a lot of data. Netflix knows the time of day when movies are watched. It logs when users pause, rewind and fast forward. It has ratings from millions of users as well as the information on searches they make. By looking at all these big data, Netflix knew many of its users had streamed the work of David Fincher and films featuring Kevin Spacey had always done well. And it knew that the British version of House of Cards had also done well.

It also knew that people who liked Fincher also liked Spacey. All these information suggested that buying the series would be a good bet for the company, and in fact it was. In other words, thanks to big data, Netflix knows what people want before they do.


Now let's review another example. Market saturation and selective customers will require Chinese e-commerce companies to make better use of big data in order to gain market share. Companies will have to persuade customers to shop more frequently, to make larger purchases and to buy from a broader array of online shopping categories.

E-commerce players already have the tools to do this as digital shopping grows. Leading players are already using data to build models aimed at boosting retention rates and spending per customer based on e-commerce data. They have also started to adopt analytics backed pricing and promotional activities.




The Internet of Things refers to the exponential rise of connected devices.


IoT suggests that many different types of data today products will be connected to a network or to the internet for example refrigerators, coffee machines or pillows.




Another connection of IoT is called wearables and it refers to items of clothing or things we wear that are now connected. These items include Fitbits, Apple Watches or the new Nike running shoes that tie their own shoelaces.



This chapter provided you with some of the characteristics of big data and you have seen some of the applications.