Behavioral Trends: Big Data Generating More Value


Big Data Generating More Value


Data is everywhere, we create it and we consume it. We leave an increasingly trace of information which we all can use and analyze. As consumers and providers, we want to collaborate to gain insights and add value for each other.




UN Global Pulse is an initiative by the United Nations Secretary-General, which aims to implement big data and artificial intelligence for fostering development, humanitarian action, and peace. The goal is to make the UN Global Pulse contribute to a future in which these technologies can be used with the ultimate aim of improving the public good worldwide. Currently, the initiative gives the UN an opportunity to better understand changes in human well-being, and to receive immediate feedback on the effectiveness of their policies.

Big Data Generating More Value - UN Global Pulse


Intelligence agency SAS (Statistical Analysis System) has developed the Data for Good movement, which aims to use data technologies to solve issues ranging from poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment. The range of their activities is very wide, going from endangered wildlife protection to preventing life-threatening illnesses, their initiative tries to make a difference by conscious use of data. The Data for Good movement shows the ultimate application of big data for creating value – addressing global issues with the artificial brainpower that has characterised the technology of our times.

Big Data Generating More Value - SAS Data For Good


The sexual exploitation of children is one of the worst problems currently plaguing the Internet. The veil of anonymity has made the task of tracking down and charging abusers extremely difficult for law enforcement. The data analysis software company Palantir has created technology that sifts through millions of reports to locate useful information for law enforcement agents. This has drastically reduced the time between a report and an arrest from weeks to mere hours, showing the extreme utility of big data for helping battle the worst of crimes.

Big Data Generating More Value - Palantir Fighting Child Exploitation


ING and Microsoft teamed up using the Azure platform to dissect, analyse and create an algorithm that could replicate famous Renaissance artist Rembrandt’s techniques, 345 years after his death. The resulting image was printed using a special 3D ink printer to achieve the slight height differences that characterised most of Rembrandt’s paintings, resulting in a highly realistic, completely new portrait from the master. Thus, the power of deep learning has successfully yielded a new masterpiece from one of the most renowned artists of all time.
“We are using a lot of data to improve business life, but we haven’t been using data that much in a way that touches the human soul. You could say that we use technology and data, like Rembrandt use his paints and his brushes to create something new”. –Ron Augustus, Director SMB Markets, Microsoft.

Big Data Generating More Value - The Next Rembrandt


Undeniably, the most pressing situation of 2020 has been the COVID-19 pandemic. The effects on the entire world have not been understated, and amidst the uncertainty, a lot of people are wondering: could we have predicted this? In 2018, NatGeo asserted that big data could actually have a big role in predicting future outbreaks of a disease, from the passage of the Zika virus to a person’s predisposition to cancer. Understanding the way diseases spread is crucial to our ability to fight back, and big data can offer immense support in that battle. Through the data that will be collected during and after this pandemic, perhaps, humanity will be better equipped for a potential one in the future.

Big Data Generating More Value - NatGeo Disease Prediction


How can Zara spend virtually nothing on advertising, rarely have a sale, and still have their customers coming back 17 times a year on average? Beyond the appeal of their runway-ready clothing, one of Zara’s hidden weapons is data. Believe it or not, behind the sleek interiors of their ubiquitous stores, lies a constant data collection operation. From POS terminals, e-commerce sales, customer surveys, PDA devices and RFID tags on the clothing, data permeates everything at Zara. Keen-eyed employees at physical locations log in customer preferences nightly. And as a final complement, the brand use Instagram and other social media tools to map out their customers’ fashion sensibility in every market. All of this data is compiled in their data center in Spain, and is then applied to orient the direction of their next collection, completing the cycle of surefire success – all thanks to data.

Big Data Generating More Value - Zara Big Data (article)


Telecommunications giant AT&T knows that it has massive amounts of data under their control – and they’re putting it to good use. They collect data ranging from voice, video, SMS, and social media activities, which in turn enable the company to customize their services and products. Through the use of data science and AI, including predictive algorithms and automated processes, AT&T can test new products while also trying to match the users’ demands and improving customer service, effectively generating more value in the end user’s experience.

Big Data Generating More Value - AT&T Data-Driven Innovation (article)


Ordering food online, especially when the delivery isn’t immediate, has always raised questions of safety among customers. The e-commerce giant Amazon as well as members-only convenience store Costco have both taken measures towards solving food service problems and concerns using big data. Amazon looks through 67 public websites for customer feedback on food contamination, which it then uses to recall products as well trace the contaminated item through their unique identification number. Costco follows a similar process, with the added benefit of its members-only nature, which allows Costco to associate a recalled product with the individuals who purchased it much more quickly.

Big Data Generating More Value - Amazon Costco Food Safety (article)


A major factor to Starbucks’ continued success has been their innovative use of data analytics. Their usage of big data tech has helped support everything from their pricing strategy, real estate development planning, product development, trade promotion optimization and marketing strategy. Most recently, they’ve also used data from their mobile app to help align its menu and product with consumer preferences, providing custom promotions and more rewards to their customers. Value is thus created both inside the company, and to their customers’ experience.

Big Data Generating More Value - Starbucks Data Analytics (article)


IKEA has been an innovator in the furniture industry ever since its foundation, and they’ve only continued to improve over the years. From 2020 onwards, the company has been  offering an augmented reality (AR) component to their mobile application. It works by taking and analysing a series of panoramic photos from your mobile phone to create a 3D virtual replica of the room using AI. This allows customers to preview how a particular piece would look in their home environments, not only placing the 3D object on a picture, but also allowing them to rearrange their existing pieces of furniture as well. And as always, IKEA respects privacy by allowing users to completely wipe their data afterwards, leaving no trace of their sensitive information behind, all while creating immense value.

Big Data Generating More Value - Ikea Deep Learning Tech Showroom (article)


Amazon has been using data from every interaction users have with the platform to make the best purchase suggestions to its users since the beginning of their operations.

Big Data Generating More Value - Amazon


Having thousands of titles to see, we appreciate big data and algorithms to be used to recommend us the best shows based on affinity with our own tastes. Netflix is using also big data to their content production business, selecting topics and actors based on users’ preferences to maximize the potential of their products since the beginning.

Big Data Generating More Value - Netflix


We don’t mind sharing with servers, algorithms and other people our information, even our current physical location and our destination, if in exchange we’ll get real value (such as the fastest way to get there).

Big Data Generating More Value - Waze


Click here to navigate our list of Behavioral Trends for value creation, full of insights and needstates, written from a post-demographic human-centered perspective by our partner Andrea Lobo.


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