As much as I love the field of economics, I was not sure what to expect from a presentation focused on big data. I found the presentation captivating because it helped me realize how wide the impact of big data actually is. The implications of new advancement in data are universal in that they affect far more than just the healthcare arena.

Working on the Indiana’s Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning’s Enterprise Data Warehouse project, I already knew that data advancement was critical to the healthcare field. What I did not know was how strong the impact could be for the future of healthcare. The presenters discussed how new data systems can allow researchers to identify a subset of the population that has a high rate of diabetes and see where they do their grocery shopping. This could allow new findings in causes of diabetes as well as other chronic illnesses.

The implications go far beyond health research. Big Data is more than that which allows Facebook and other online tracking tools to advertise the right products to you. It also is an important tool in identifying sentiments and trends through social media which can be used to start grassroots political movements or awareness campaigns.

This presentation offered me just a small glimpse at what these systems are capable of. After learning what I did, I look forward to continued work on data projects and watching the future of big data systems unfold.


It’s difficult to imagine the power that we’re going to have when so many different sorts of data are available – Tim Berners Lee.