Big Data and Water - How Big is it?

Big Data and Water - How Big is it?

What is big data?  Let's start with understanding this relatively new word called “big data”- this is nothing but extremely large data sets that can be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations with each data set. This could be digital data or traditional records kept as  finance documents etc. One thing is clear: Every enterprise needs to fully understand big data with following key factor  – what data do they have, what it does for them, what it means to them – and the potential of using this data in future planning for Less failure percentage and high profit. Where is Water sector with Big data today?  Water Utilities: Big Data is booming, and water utilities are among the pioneers to  take advantage by leveraging the skills of those who already know how to collect and manage data. Water utilities had a Bunch of data in a very unstructured way. First thing utility used the big data for Leakage Computation and fixing them. According to an Oracle survey, 62 percent of surveyed U.S. and Canadian utility managers picked leak detection as the biggest benefit. (and they could reduce leakage by understanding different data sets) followed by supplying customers with tools to monitor/reduce water use (35%) and for this consumer needs more data ti understand their water use.  Food and Agriculture Industry:  Food and agriculture technology startups attracted $4.6 billion in funding year 2015, vs. $2.3 billion in 2014, according to AgFunder. And these tech starts are mostly from Irrigation and precision agriculture side. Industries have understood that If they can tell customer/farmer predictions about what will happen on their farm, they can be closer to them to sell them the seeds and whatever other products they have.  And these predictions are based on the data – which these industries or govt is collecting since long. How can data help us with Water and SDG goals? The importance of big data doesn’t revolve around how much data the sector has, but what we want to do with it. Water sector has the data and now what we need is right analytical tools and smart systems to analyze  the data and to interpret it in order to assist management in decision-making processes. Decision-making not only to funders but to the consumers, entrepreneurs as well- What can water data analysis tell us - Root causes of previous failures, issues and defects and reason behind success stories. Recalculating risk portfolios for the social water projects Generating point of sale for young entrepreneurs after analyzing what needs consumers has. (could be a WASH product or an agriculture product) Simple readable maps can help farmers to manage their cropping patterns. Or irrigation needs or thinking big – Market forecasts. SMS systems  can help farmers to monitors their water usage, agriculture practices better Mobile app can help in detecting nearby sanitation facility in Urban and rural area. So the Questions in Answered - Big data concept has a huge opportunity in the water sector to understand and manager the source.  I can boldly say - Big data in connection with ITC will help us reframe the Water sector. Stay tuned for the next series – Big Data and the WASH!!!