Data science news

The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis, the movie tells the story of how Beane single-handedly changed the face of baseball using data analytics 

In Bennett Miller’s Oscar nominated movie Moneyball (2011), Brad Pitt plays the real life character of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, a struggling team in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States.

Based on the book, “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game” by Michael Lewis, the movie tells the story of how Beane single-handedly changed the face of baseball using data analytics in his quest for becoming a successful team on a small budget, competing against teams with massive payrolls such as the New York Yankees.

With the emergence of data mining and the field of analytics, known as “Big Data”, the vast amounts of statistics that are collected for each player, team, game, and season are beginning to have new meaning that is beyond just a cumulative measure of an athlete’s or team’s performance. Data mining can be used by sports organisations for statistical analysis, pattern discovery, as well as outcome prediction, because patterns in data are often helpful in forecasting future events.

In a pivotal scene from Moneyball, the character Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) says to Beane, “Baseball thinking is medieval. It’s stuck in the Dark Ages. I have a more scientific view of the game.” And science is what made all the difference.

From the mail to McDonald’s, big data is all around us 

Big data helps mail your letters, it makes your burgers better, and it allows intelligence agencies to piece together disparate pieces of data into insights that might help them foil the next terrorist attack.

Big data early adopters were a hot topic March 12 at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s second annual Big Data Technology Symposium, as speakers briefed an audience of industry and federal executives on businesses and agencies already making use of big data.

Noteworthy private sector successes included:

  • McDonald’s using vast amounts of operational data to automate the inspection of its burger buns, perfecting “proper seed distribution and color”
  • Healthcare providers creating mobile applications for doctors that include patient genetics, family history, reference data with comparisons to similar patients; and
  • Carpets that are sold with sensors that record senior citizens’ every movement and attempt to detect abnormalities that could signal a health issue.

Is healthcare finally ready for big data, analytics?

Healthcare organizations and providers are maturing in their ability to use clinical intelligence as a means to improve the care of patients, the business of providing care, and the process of reporting clinically-relevant medical information to public health agencies and other organizations charged with managing the health of whole populations. “The promise of meaningful use is that this data is going to be available for them to manage care, improve quality, and reduce cost,” says John McInally, former CIO and current Partner of Healthcare Big Data and Analytics Group CSC, in an interview. 

Improving organisational and national security with big data

There are three main areas that big data can affect and improve security and in the coming years big data will have a big impact on security issues worldwide and the way security is managed and handled. Some will be logical and others might be controversial, but big data will for sure impact the way we look at security.

1)Organisational security
Employees’ Security
Prevention of Fraudulent actions by customers
Prevention of organizations being hacked

2)Public Safety

3)National security

Big data investments ramp, says Gartner

Forty two percent of technology leaders are investing in big data projects or planning to spend within the next year, according to a Gartner survey.

The upshot is that 2013 will see big data pilots in 2012 go production. As those use cases proliferate by vertical, more companies will hop on the bandwagon.

Gartner noted that most companies are in the early stages of big data adoption. Many projects are revolving around revenue and business opportunities that can’t be solved via traditional data sources.

According to Gartner, 20 percent of global 100 companies will have a focus on information infrastructure comparable to application management.

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