According to the distinguished economist John Kay, “short-term weather forecasting is one of the triumphs, perhaps the greatest triumph, of big data – the opportunity supercomputers provide to process data sets of unbelievable size and complexity.”
He was comparing the largely accurate hourly forecasts today with Michael Fish’s horribly wrong assertion on prime time British TV in 1987 that rumours of an imminent hurricane were unfounded. So what does big data encompass?
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers “Big data encompasses structured, semi-structured, and unstructured information from demographic and psychographic information about consumers to product reviews and commentary; blogs; content on social media sites; and data streamed 24/7 from mobile devices, sensors, and technical devices”.
With this in mind, it is clear that accurate weather forecasting is just one of the many opportunities that big data presents. It is also clear that few industries stand to benefit from the power of big data as much as the financial services.
On Monday 22 September the CISI is holding a special two hour event, where panellists will probe how far big data can go to protect the capital markets from Michael Fish moments, and also the opportunities its proper management presents. Book your place here