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The Future of Social and Big Data
By: Jennifer Stack
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The impact of big data on social media will inevitably result in an ultimate immersion. For now, venture capitalists have said that natural resources, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, transportation/logistics, and retail sectors comprise the early-adopter markets. Many institutions in these categories have already laid the groundwork for the future of big data by implementing loyalty programs that capture consumers’ data. An extension of big data to social will eventually merge to create a more sophisticated state as a result of The Sensor Revolution, which entails a world full of wireless sensor networks (WSN) that, according to Wikipedia “monitor physical or environmental conditions, such as temperature, sound, pressure, etc. and...cooperatively pass their data through the network to a main location.”

While the concept of data isn’t new, the expansion of its abilities to be used real time is catapulting the big data movement into place to be the next hot industry (get ready for the influx of start-ups). Realizing the impact of the impending data boom is a necessary step to start laying the groundwork now within organizations in order to capture buyers’ information. Laying infrastructure for data collection is bespoke depending on the sector and the path to purchase. Despite the vast variety a data collection system encompasses, the value remains the same across the board. Value in data remains threefold. First there is value in accessing your customers’ information. Second, there is value in understanding your purchasers and the insights from which their behaviors are born. Finally, there is value in the distribution of your shoppers’ information to third parties with similar target audiences. Estimates say that big data currently exists as a multi-billion dollar industry.

Considering the potential of big data and its current economical funding, the logical next step will be the influx of social media producing big data analyses that can be scaled down to each consumer. Social profiles will replace the multiple numerical loyalty cards that represent a person in the eyes of corporations and even more layers of a person will be available to be captured and assessed to produce even more information in bite-sized nuggets of acumen. The legal system will adapt to facilitate such a mass information gathering, as the benefits greatly exceed the threats to privacy from the capitalistic perspective. Ultimately, consumers will feel comfortable revealing their data, as it will be perceived as an even exchange for valuable benefits.

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About the Author
Jennifer Stack is a Social Media Strategist at a digital advertising agency. She was a 2011 Notable.ca YP Social Media Finalist. International Marketing Communication, MA. International Marketing Strategy, MSc. LinkedIn + Twitter.
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