Showing posts from 2015

Using big data to turn global catastrophic risks into opportunities

Big data is currently transforming both the public and private sectors by increasing efficiency, transparency and productivity whilst also promoting sustainability. As the ability to utilise intelligent data analytics distinguishes today’s winners, data is fast becoming the oil of the 21st century. Organisations and countries that manage to harness this new commodity will ensure sustainable economic growth in the same way that those with access to cheap fossil fuel resources have been in an advantageous position in the past.   The proliferation of mobile technology, wireless sensors, social media and the Internet of Things, provides a means of monitoring socio-economic activity, consumption of resources, transactions, human mobility and environmental change. Recent advances in data science are now capable of coping with the technical challenges of collecting, managing and developing actionable insights from big data. Much of the exciting research has focused on addressing the t

Forecasting demand using Big Data

As we walk, cycle or drive around Oxford, make telephone calls, send texts or emails and do our shopping, many of us are unaware of exactly how much data is being generated by our activities. "Big data" is a catch-phrase for describing the overwhelming volume, velocity and variety of this stream of information. Big data has the potential to provide many opportunities for the public and private sectors, offering a means of fusing different sources of information and supporting decision-making in real-time. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of big data is how it deepens our understanding of human behaviour seen through the collective actions of many individuals. We tend to consume services following the temporal cycles in our everyday lives. There are three evident cyclical patterns based around the hour of day, the day of the week and the season of the year. All of these patterns can be seen in electricity consumption, call centre activity, internet usage, financial tran