Advancements in Big Data are not driven by technology alone. They are also about human behavior.
Big Data conferences, which I attend regularly, attract mostly technology experts and computing specialists. Although technology has enabled us to collect and process large amounts of information, another often neglected factor behind the trend is human behavior.
People have proven that, given appropriate tools and the opportunity, they display a great fondness for sharing their most intimate secrets with the rest of the world. They reveal their most private details voluntarily. This propensity to bare their souls on social media even extends to information about their children, other family members and habits. According to statistics, Facebook has 1.3 billion active users (64% of whom visit the site daily spending an average of 20 minutes). Almost half a trillion photographs are uploaded to the internet yearly while 100 hours worth of video content is shared on YouTube every minute.
What’s more, people commonly transmit private data across the globe using the available means of communication such as gps devices, wifi networks, observation drones, network connectors and warbles. The amount of data transmitted over optical fibers doubles every nine months. To satisfy growing needs, worldwide storage density doubles every 8 months. The number of IP-enabled sensors will exceed 50 billion by 2020. People use them to access, analyze and store data often without even thinking about them.
The data we share, sometimes very carelessly, is used to analyze our behaviors, preferences, everyday life choices, likes and dislikes. All these information threads are weaved together into a picture that offers a sneak peak into the future, courtesy of Big Data. For sure, the perspective of behavioral science on Big Data could bring fresh insights. I am looking forward to conferences organized jointly by IT experts and human behavior scientists. There is still plenty to talk about.