The streaming movie and TV service Netflix are said to account for one-third of peak-time Internet traffic in the US, and the service now have 65 million members in over 50 countries enjoying more than 100 million hours of TV shows and movies a day. Data from these millions of subscribers is collected and monitored in an attempt to understand our viewing habits. But Netflix’s data isn’t just “big” in the literal sense. It is the combination of this data with cutting-edge analytical techniques that makes Netflix a true Big Data company.
Legendary Hollywood screenwriter William Goldman said: “Nobody, nobody – not now, not ever – knows the least goddam thing about what is or isn’t going to work at the box office.”
He was speaking before the arrival of the Internet and Big Data and, since then, Netflix have been determined to prove him wrong by building a business around predicting exactly what we’ll enjoy watching.
A quick glance at Netflix’s jobs page is enough to give you an idea of how seriously data and analytics are taken. Specialists are recruited to join teams specifically skilled in applying analytical skills to particular business areas: personalization analytics, messaging analytics, content delivery analytics, device analytics … the list goes on. However, although Big Data is used across every aspect of the ...