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Everyday Analytics: Big Data Transforming News Media, Hotels, and Loans

The influence of big data isn't all talk. Recent news coverage explores how several industries are making big changes because of big data.

We hear about big data all the time and how it will change every industry, but sometimes these claims are vague, with results still "sometime" in the future. Without seeing evidence of genuine business value, it could be easy to be skeptical. Recent articles demonstrate how several sectors are making big changes today because of big data.

Online News Tracks Engagement with Streaming Data

Recent coverage from the Computer Business Review explored how big data has changed the U.K.-based global news website The Guardian. Staff developed an in-house system that uses real-time analytics to track reader behavior. The tool has spread through the organization, allowing editors and reporters alike to see how many people are engaged with an article and how making a change can affect readership.

In fact, The Guardian's integration of their data systems won a TDWI Best Practices Award last year.

The real-time feedback loop is keeping The Guardian at the forefront of online news. Read the whole article for more details about the solution and how it currently uses Amazon Web Services Kinesis Stream.

Hospitality Improves Marketing and Service with Analytics

An article on Forbes earlier this year described several cases in which analytics is improving business for hotels. Chains are integrating external data sets such as weather information to target their marketing; they're using sophisticated algorithms on their internal data to distinguish one-time travelers from repeat visitors.

Big data analytics is also used to personalize a guest's experience and in some cases to even help on-site staff predict a guest's needs. Another article, from ITProPortal, explores further possible uses in the hospitality industry.

Lenders Improve Risk Assessment with New Data Sources

Financial services are being affected by big data as well. This article in the Huffington Post gives an overview of how some lenders are using new data sources to evaluate credit risk. New online lending companies are going beyond the old-fashioned FICO score to build a more nuanced picture of both individual and business clients.

Another use of big data in finance is in fraud prevention. This article is skeptical about the type of use the lending market is seeing but endorses using big data to determine a person's identity.

About the Author

Lindsay Stares is a production editor at TDWI. You can contact her at lstares@tdwi.org.


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