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In Big Data Now: 2013 Edition, we pulled together our top posts from the O'Reilly Data blog from late fall 2012 through late fall 2013. In 2013, “big data” became more than just a technical term for scientists, engineers, and other technologists—the term entered the mainstream on a myriad of fronts, becoming a household word in news, business, health care, and people’s personal lives.
Posts have been divided into four main chapters:
- Evolving Tools and Techniques: The community is constantly coming up with new tools and systems to process and manage data at scale. This chapter contains entries that cover trends and changes to the databases, tools, and techniques being used in the industry.
- Changing Definitions: Big data is constantly coming under attack by many commentators as being an amorphous marketing term that can be bent to suit anyone’s needs. The field is still somewhat “plastic,” and new terms and ideas are affecting big data—not just in how we approach the problems to which big data is applied, but in how we think about the people involved in the process.
- Real Data: Big data has gone from a term used by technologists to a term freely exchanged on the nightly news. Data at scale—and its benefits and drawbacks—are now a part of the culture. This chapter captures the effects of big data on real-world problems. Whether it is how big data was used to respond to Hurricane Sandy, how the Obama campaign managed to win the presidency with big data, or how data is used to devise novel solutions to real-world problems, this chapter covers it.
- Health Care: This chapter takes a look at the intersections of health care, government, privacy, and personal health monitoring. From a sensor device that analyzes data to help veterans to Harvard’s SMARTplatform of health care apps, from the CDC’s API to genomics and genetics all the way to the Quantified Self movement, the posts in this section cover big data’s increasing role in every aspect of our health care industry.
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