Examples of Big Data Across Industries [Applications & Real Life Examples]


It has been nine years since big data is known for its massive presence in our lives, and since then has been the ‘big’ talk in the technological industry. Organizations have finally understood the big data example in various niches and have begun to be more objective on data-driven results. However, the application of big data isn’t exactly as easy as it may sound; but its efficiency and speed make it a preferred choice for enterprises to edge over others. 

Big data applications in real life have induced the ability within industries to adopt agile and quick decision making, backed by data. It has created a healthy and self-sustainable system for institutions to evaluate and improve their products and services continually. 

Big Data Examples

Big data is a commonly used term that interprets into large sets of gathered data. While it may sound simple, these vast datasets are often enormous in numbers and increasingly complex to compute by any regular data processing software.

Instead, it requires an organized process of data collection, analysis, storage, sharing, finding, visualizing, deriving insights, protecting crucial information, and regular updates. Primarily engineered to facilitate risk-free and generating high-value decision making, it also helps in effective data management in overwhelming numbers.

Appreciated in all public and private sector industries, big data has revolutionized the way companies look towards their data generated, and reap the most of it. Be it healthcare to education, entertainment to banking – big data has certainly raised the bars in optimizing an enterprise’s overall performance. 

Data shows that even if big data has been around since 2005, it wasn’t until 2013 that big data got noticed for its unique possibilities. According to reports, 53% of companies used Big Data Analytics in 2017 for crucial activities like decision making, product development, and more. 

Let’s learn about some of the most successful big data examples of all-time:


Big data work like wonders for marketers in terms of generating targeted ads for their audience. Insights drawn from tracking sales transactions, purchase trends, marketers can finally create campaigns based on data-driven customer expectations.

Such campaigns can prove to be more effective since these are based on customers’ online activity and shopping behaviors. For business owners, such convenience could mean cost-effectiveness and implementing predictive analysis for high-potential leads. Learn how data science disrupts the marketing industry.

Big data applications primarily benefit marketers in the following ways: 

  • Achieving more targeted advertising and therefore staying ahead of their competitors: From Amazon to Netflix, brands collate colossal amounts of data (thanks to their massive subscriber-base) and show suggestions to their customers based on their previous likes and preferences. 
  • Semantic search: Often, customers search for queries in their natural language instead of keywords. For search engines, big data provides them with a better understanding of such questions and offers better results. Walmart has implemented a semantic search into its website and has reported an increase in conversion by 10-15%, which can mean millions of dollars or more. 
  • Relevant content generation: For content creators and managers, big data helps them to understand their readers’ mindsets. It can lead them to curate content that appeals relative to the readers, based on their interests. Spotify is one such content creator that suggests podcasts and other original content found on the listening preferences of its subscribers with the help of third-party vendors.
  • Conclusive results: Since big data enables marketers to have better campaigns with several factors involved, the process leads to getting more conclusive test results. Facebook understands the areas of interest for different users based on their ages and therefore personalizes the experience accordingly. It could include suggested watch, photos, and other content that are mostly preferred in that age group.

Learn more: Characteristics of Big Data: Types & 5V’s


The healthcare industry has been one of the primary adopters of big data and has improved the quality of life. As important as an industry, big data has brought patients and doctors closer with its super-personalized treatment. Big data predictive analysis has reduced hospitalizations and ER visits by 64% in chronic patients from a better understanding of a patient’s history to discovering breakthrough medical applications. Here’s how:

  • Alayacare’s approach to predict and diagnose any underlying negative health issues in the elderly, you would come across that big data could identify symptoms of any symptom of diseases commonly found in the same demographics. Such early detection of the conditions has made patients’ treatment comfortable and productive.
  • Tech-giant Apple has taken diagnostics from physical clinics to smart wearables. It has helped doctors keep a better track of their patients’ heart rate, body temperature, and other biometric data.

Learn more about big data use cases in healthcare.


The education industry has been one of the most successful big data examples, as it has taken students’ performance evaluations to their daily progress. Students now learn and think in a digital classroom with a more personalized and one-on-one approach and learning models. Educators use big data to understand their students’ works better as it now includes a cross-reference layer to identify loopholes in any learning models. Here’s how:

In the University of Alabama, educators and administrators sit together to identify data patterns in optimizing recruitment operations of the institution. Read more about big data applications in education.

Public Sector

Some of the world’s most influential governments take a significant big data approach since a vast amount of data is collected every day. Such data volumes can now be leveraged to optimize bureaucratic procedures and enhance quality public services. Even for police departments, big data applications like “predictive policing” in real life models have been instrumental in reducing gun violence in Chicago. Here’s how:

  • Fast and informed decision-making in political events.
  • Identify attention areas, like perpetrators of crime forging identities.
  • Devise methods for handling national challenges like unemployment. 

FDA has been known to use big data to identify any patterns and conduct examinations to understand events related to food infections. Government agencies like Palantir Technologies in California are using big data predictive analysis to foretell any possible terrorist threats or activities. 

Media and Entertainment Industry

According to the Leichtman Research Group study, more than three-quarters of all households in the US have subscriptions to online streaming platforms. It automatically generates massive amounts of data and revenue worth $38.56 billion in 2018. As the market grows exponentially every day, video platform giants like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime rely on big data to monetize their content. Here’s how:

  • Better insights on customer preferences and interests
  • Optimization of digital media distribution of media streams

YouTube recommendations are based on your real-time activity and watch time analytics. Amazon Prime uses big data and provides personalized recommendations in music, videos, Kindle books to its subscribers. Read more about how big data disrupts media and entertainment industry.

Wrapping up

Now, that you can see that the hype around big data is gaining momentum, given its applications in real life. It is predicted that the big data market can reach up to $260 billion by 2022. Big data also requires skillful data scientists and engineers to unleash its true potential as it grows imperative to industries.

If you are interested to know more about Big Data, check out our PG Diploma in Software Development Specialization in Big Data program which is designed for working professionals and provides 7+ case studies & projects, covers 14 programming languages & tools, practical hands-on workshops, more than 400 hours of rigorous learning & job placement assistance with top firms.

Learn Software Development Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs or Masters Programs to fast-track your career.

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