The digital age continues to grow in complexity with every passing day. The amount of data now processed by companies and other organizations is mind boggling. While it’s certainly true that accumulated knowledge is an advantage in most circumstances, simply collecting and storing a copious amount of raw data means nothing unless that information is processed, analyzed and utilized for the good of the organization and/or mankind in general. Certain industries are doing just that. Not only do they collect enormous amounts of raw data; they use that information to improve the processes, products and services they provide for the clients and customers. What follows are some of the industries that process the most data.
It should come as no surprise that the healthcare industry is one of the leaders in the efficient processing and utilization of massive amounts of data. And, without a doubt, we all benefit from it. From improving the accuracy of diagnoses to more effectively treating diseases to identifying the very earliest stages of illness, the processing of data by the healthcare industry is helping us to live longer, healthier lives.
Another area in which the processing of data is improving the quality of our lives is in education. School, universities and other institutes of learning are utilizing collected data to improve teaching methods, to better understand the different ways in which students learn, and to more effectively teach those with challenges such as learning disabilities.
Agriculture and Ranching
Thanks to the processing and analyzing of collected data, today’s farmers know more about how to grow the highest quality and quantity of crops possible. This data allows them to make more informed decisions regarding irrigation practices, use of pesticides, the optimum harvest time for different produce, etc. Ranchers as well are now able to use collected data to more closely monitor the condition of their livestock, allowing them to know immediately if health problems exist so they can be treated promptly.
One industry that is most obviously impacted by the processing and utilization of collected data is manufacturing. In our digital age, manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly automated and efficient, resulting in lower production times as well as lower costs for manufacturers.
One of the first industries to fully utilize collected data in a way that has revolutionized the field is the language industry. Whether for good or bad, the development of machine translation (also referred to as “MT”) has forever changed the face of the translation and interpretation industry. Tasks that were once provided solely by human linguists can now be completed automatically by the likes of Google Translate and a myriad of other apps available.
While there’s no doubt that the processing of data has provided countless benefits, there are also some drawbacks to this technology. Machine translation, for example, is much less accurate than an experienced translator or interpreter. For users of translations apps, the tradeoff for convenience and speed is a lower quality translation. In another example, manufacturing companies may be saving money by using automated manufacturing processes, but those advances don’t come as welcome news for the countless production line workers who have lost their jobs as a result.
Now that we have come so far in our processing of data, this might be an appropriate time to take a more objective look at where this technology is leading us in the future. While there’s no doubt that the processing of data in certain industries has proved beneficial without question – such as advancements made in healthcare and education, for example – utilization of collected data in other fields may not be as positive as it first appears. When technology allows us to be faster but less accurate, or to streamline processes to the point of eliminating jobs, now may be a good time to view those advancements with a more critical eye and to make some wiser decisions in the future on how to utilize data in a manner that is most beneficial for everyone.