The best way to know where technology is headed is to understand Big Data.
What makes up Big Data? The best I can say is that it is comprised of mind-boggling arrays. It is not your father’s database. Just to start, think in terms of what the Internal Revenue Service knows about the incomes and spending habits of essentially every household in the nation. Or what the Census Department knows about every aspect of national demographics.
Or consider what just your bank knows about your travel and spending patterns, based on your credit card purchases. Or ponder the (very) personal consumer information that lurks within the card you use at the supermarket checkout line and how they incentivize you to use it by giving you a few cents per gallon off your gasoline purchases.
Big Data is all of this and much more. Look at the global success of Google, Facebook, or Amazon, with their billion and more users, all placing sensitive personal and financial information online. With the right search engine, it is all entirely mineable for insight into all manner of things.
Indeed, President Obama’s reelection effort spent immense sums to acquire and access databases containing political rosters, magazine subscription lists, social and club memberships, personal websites, and much more. The Obama campaign designed a Big Data-driven system of “personal” outreach, leading straight down to individual voters. It is fair to say that President Obama won reelection because he convinced more people – one at a time, much of them electronically – to vote for him, via Big Data.
Looking ahead, what will Big Data mean to energy and resource investing? That is a wide-open question. Will energy or mining companies ever make use of the Big Data side of people’s personal information? I would not dismiss the idea.
At the same time, the global array of Big Data includes more and more technical, geologic, geographic, and related information. It is all out there, stored and increasingly accessible.
In and of itself, information is an asset. It has value. When information is accessible, it can be mined and interpreted. Information is key to making good business decisions – using technology to improve overall return on investment.
In this fast-changing world, it is difficult to make hard predictions even a few years out. Most businesses (and certainly most governments) don’t really know what is going to be required in two or three years. Prepare to be surprised.
It is very likely that the Big Data revolution will have a growing impact on business and personal productivity, including in the energy and resource investment space. People are more and more willing to place data online, while there are more and better devices with which to do so, and access that data. Big Data is becoming more and more integrated, and, or course, searchable.
Where are things headed? I suspect that with Big Data, we’ll be astonished. I also suspect that we will be able to make some money off of it.
I trust this post has provided some background and evidence that now is a good time to benefit from investing in the fast growing players in the Big Data sector of the technology industry.
It is wise to monitor Big Data and the technology industry as there are truly exciting developments underway. I will continue to monitor developments and provide updates in future articles and at my blog.
Finally, I want to thank Byron King of Outstanding Investments, published by Agora Financial, as he was the source of some of the materials about Big Data mentioned in this post.
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