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big data and new tvBig Data is dramatically improving the way smart organizations operate across a variety of sectors.

Police departments are using data-driven predictive analysis to combat crime before it occurs. After Memphis police began analyzing crime-related data, violent crime went down 26%. Big data helped the dairy industry create the “perfect milk machine,” quadrupling the amount of milk the average cow produces in a short amount of time. Even Rugby clubs are analyzing player data signals to help reduce injuries and improve peak performance.

The data revolution uses real-world metrics to inform business-critical decisions. The result is reduced costs, added value, and additional revenue.

So why is this the age of Big Data?

Dr. David Haussler, who is using Big Data to fight cancer at the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, chalks it up to a powerful new symbiosis between data and devices:

The scale of what we’re doing is far beyond anything anybody’s been able to put together before. I think you’re going to start to see this sort of big data effort on several fronts — partly because of supercomputing capabilities that we haven’t had until recently and also because of wireless devices that are increasingly being used to transmit data.

Haussler is most interested in how Big Data relates to medicine, but the benefits he describes are applicable to all industries. We’re talking more devices delivering more data that drives more actionable business intelligence.

Welcome to the New TV

In the field I’m in, video technology, we’re seeing big data dramatically impact the way people watch TV online.

As the TV industry evolves from a traditional broadcast experience to a mobile, multi-screen online environment, networks, broadcasters, and service providers will be able to leverage viewer data to create more personalized and profitable media experiences. Big Data is the key to personalizing media.

Imagine having highlights from your favorite sports team sent to your mobile device as they happen. Now imagine being able to watch individual player highlights to bring your Fantasy Team to life. Big Data makes this new TV experience possible.

Movie junkies can tap into a broad interest graph of like-minded cinephiles to discover, share, and rant about films from all over the world. Politicos could get a stream of commentary, news, and analysis tailored to their tastes and locations. The possibilities extend to art, fashion, food, and virtually every other area that people are passionate about.

Intelligent media distribution powered by Big Data will mean that your TV (and tablet, and phone) will know what you like, when you like to watch it, and what you will want to watch next.

With Big Data delivering the right media to the right screen at the right time, viewers become more engaged and publishers earn more digital dollars.

Advances in content discovery technology are turning smart media into smarter media. Sophisticated algorithms developed with advanced collaborative filtering and machine learning techniques connect online viewers with content suited to their specific tastes. The result? Viewer engagement skyrockets and abandonment rates (the number of people who stop watching videos) plummet. That means longer viewing sessions, more plays, and more advertising opportunities.

That’s found money, earned by carefully analyzing viewer data and using those insights to deliver highly targeted streaming media to all screens.

Jay Fulcher is CEO of video technology company Ooyala. You can follow him on Twitter @jbfulcher.

[Top image credit: PeterG/Shutterstock]

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