Did you know that Analytics has been used to: Help save Big Cats:

For instance, by using big data, EIA could link seemingly disparate cases of the trafficking of different species to a group of enterprises, subsequently identifying further connections between associates of this network and additional trafficking cases across continents.

Keep your dog from getting fat:

Through an app on her iPhone, Ms. Hurn, 32, who works in medical device sales in Seattle, can see a bar chart showing how hard and for how long her dog walker is exercising Hoosier. She can see how active he is when she and her fiancé are not at home. (Revealed: Hoosier is sacked out from five minutes after they leave until the moment they get home.)

Figure out how many birds are killed every year by cats:

Cats that live in the wild or indoor pets allowed to roam outdoors kill from 1.4 billion to as many as 3.7 billion birds in the continental U.S. each year, says a new study that escalates a decades-old debate over the feline threat to native animals.

Okay, enough with the cats and dogs.   But these stories are an interesting look at how the collection of data is being used on a regular basis to help with all sorts of ordinary, everyday issues.

You might be asking why this warrants a whole blog post, but it is important to point out that the biggest impact of our industry — of Data, Analytics, Big Data, Business Intelligence, and the other arms of this thing — is an impact on the world we live in.  This impact (or perhaps, these impacts) have very real effects on the people and animals that live on this planet.

iVEDiX’s home town is in the process of getting buried by a late winter blizzard,  something that we were able to prepare for because weather data is collected and analyzed by various means, and made available to researchers and scientists.

All of this stuff comes together to produce real outcomes, and this transcends the immediate gratification we might feel when the issue is “just” higher profits or better market penetration.  These things are important, sure, but analytics is not just a tool CEOs to get warm and fuzzy about.  Analytics is a used all the time, in tons of different industries, to predict outcomes or drive changes.  That’s important.

So as the east coast straps itself in for another — but hopefully final! — rough winter night, we should consider all the ways this business impacts our lives.  And the lives of bird-killing cats, fat dogs, and oh yeah.  Tigers.

What other areas can you name where analytics has been used to improve outcomes?

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