Most corporations and retail businesses are aware of Big Data and the potential gains it stands to offer. If marketers can tap the mass amount of information consumers are generating through social, mobile and online channels, they can key into their clients' thought processes and deploy highly informed business strategies. However, retailers aren't the only industry that could profit from the wealth of information.
If U.S. healthcare can access and analyze market research in innovative ways, it could create more than $300 billion annually from added productivity and efficiency, according to McKinsey Global Institute.
The healthcare industry can also benefit from gaining new information about clinical research and patient demographics.
"Big data holds the key to understanding healthcare today and improving it in the future," said Dr. Robert Rowley, medical director at Practice Fusion. "Putting this knowledge in the hands of doctors will save lives and enable patients to make informed decisions about their health."
By sifting through data-driven posts, Practice Fusion was able to gain a variety of insights about patients. It found that males 20 years old and under are 80 percent more likely to have a concussion than their same-age female peers, while the risk of concussion peaks for both genders at age 16.
With Big Data, the site was also able to determine that patients arrive to a doctor's office late for an appointment 45 percent of the time. Most patients arrive 11 minutes after the scheduled time on average, while patients 70 years and up averaged 15.5 minutes late.
Race and ethnicity play a role in the likelihood of allergies, Practice Fusion found through its research into Big Data. Caucasians are almost three times more likely to have allergies than Asians, and African-Americans have an 80 percent greater chance of being allergic to peanuts than Caucasians.
"Today, most companies are aware of Big Data," Kaylan Viswanathan told IT World. "There's a lot written about it. There are conferences about it. Awareness has become quite pervasive. But if you look at actually exploiting Big Data, I would say we're at the very beginning stages of it."
The healthcare industry among others can harness the data and leverage it to gain substantial insights into their clients. For physicians, this could mean making important discoveries and correlations before their peers, while other companies can gain a competitive edge and become leaders in their markets, Viswanathan said.