There's no doubt about it: We are living in the age of big data. It's a $3.2 billion industry with enormous growth potential. From mining information to data storage, check out these five sectors ready for more innovation and the start-ups that have turned our digital lives into businesses.
The exorbitant costs of healthcare in the U.S. could be alleviated, as least in part, with the adoption of electronic patient medical records. More and more start-ups are searching for ways to comb through large volumes of clinical data on medication, allergies, and procedure-- data that is often saved by different practitioners in different formats. Apixio, a company based in San Mateo, California, makes a platform that streamlines patient records across disparate types of data to offer a searchable database for providers.
From phone calls, to texts, to apps, the surge of data generated by mobile devices has service providers playing catch-up. Many companies rely largely on the analysis of this data to provide better customer service and to build on retention and loyalty. That's where you come in. Check out Infobright, based in Toronto, which compresses mobile data for telecom companies at a 10:1 ratio, resulting in less storage space and faster, real-time analytics.
Most retailers already store point-of-sale data from customer transactions. But McKinsey & Company, a management-consulting firm, estimates that a retailer using big data analytics to its fullest potential could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. What if merchants used that POS data to predict the next top-selling item or reduce out-of-stock situations? Menlo Park, California-based Nearbuy Systems, for example, offers an in-store guest WiFi platform that allows retailers to view which websites shoppers view before making a purchase, then analyze that data across multiple store locations.
Big companies are desperate for a way to capture the millions of tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and Tumblr pages that mention their product or service. That’s where Gnip, a company based in Boulder, Colorado, has found a niche market. Gnip collects and manages public high-volume streams from multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Wordpress, and StumbleUpon. The company also offers its customers a searchable 30-day, full historical database of Twitter.
Banks and investment firms assess massive amounts of data to stay ahead of the competition. In 2011, for example, trading volume grew to 4.55 billion contracts, up 17 percent from 2010, while the American Bankers’ Association reports that there are 10,000 credit card transactions every second around the world. Datameer, based in San Mateo, Calif., provides an analytics platform that helps banks mine large volumes of customer data, such as spending behavior and other demographics, to improve their products and marketing campaigns.
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