10 Big Data Examples Live in the Real World in 2021


If you think big data is huge now, it’s only a fraction of the size it’s anticipated to be in just a few years.

According to a report from Cision PR Newswire, big data and business analytics is expected to reach $512.04 billion by 2026. That’s an enormous market that was valued at only 171.39 billion in 2018.

Several prominent companies use data analytics that many individuals use and enjoy every day, like Netflix and Amazon.

If you are interested in learning where your data is being used, keep reading to discover a few big data examples that may surprise you.

1Social Media

The place most people go these days when connecting with friends and staying up to date with the family is using sophisticated tools to gather analytics information on their user’s platforms.

The information is then used to forecast trends and personalize marketing advertisements to tailor them specifically for the user. One of the most widely used platforms, Facebook, just reported in its first-quarter 2021 earnings that its ad revenue grew by nearly $8 billion from the previous year.

A massive expansion that’s only predicted to continue growing.

2Music Streaming

The music and entertainment industry is another common place to find big data being used to customize recommendations and improve the customer experience.

Companies such as Pandora, Apple Music, and Spotify are gathering data on their platforms just as social media does. The music streaming services collect information such as

  • How many times a song is played
  • If the song was skipped
  • And the type of music users prefer

The data is then analyzed and used to help artists understand their fan’s preferences.

3Media and Entertainment

Although not as many people are watching cable tv as they used to, the media and entertainment industry is still growing rapidly thanks to digital entertainment services like Disney +, Netflix, and Hulu.

One of the most significant reasons these companies are growing so rapidly is due to the personalization and superior customer experience they are capable of offering.

The pandemic only added fuel to the streaming growth. Streaming giant Netflix grew its subscribing audience to over 200 million with users looking for sources of entertainment.

Netflix wasn’t the only company to experience substantial growth. Disney’s streaming service Disney Plus also grew its audience to nearly 95 million despite launching in November 2019.

4Retail Stores

Some retail stores that you shop in often may also be using big data to improve their services.

Walmart is not shy about how it uses big data to help customers and improve the shopping experience. According to information on Walmart’s website, the company uses big data to enhance the customer experience by

  1. Making the store’s pharmacies more efficient
  2. Improving the checkout experience
  3. Maintaining control of the supply chain
  4. Enhancing product display
  5. And offering a personalized experience for customers

By gathering big data and analyzing it to optimize the experience for customers, Walmart has improved the company’s overall efficiency.

5Banking and Financial Institutions

Even the places you are storing your money use big data to improve their services and offer a more personalized experience.

Banks and other financial institutions will collect information such as

  • Consumer spending habits
  • Life events
  • Demographics
  • Risk management practices

And will use the information to offer customers more personalized services and protection. Some of the benefits include credit card fraud protection and investment practices.


Big data is massive in the manufacturing industry to help improve overall efficiency and potentially reduce costs.

Manufacturing processes sometimes consist of several different complex parts that can get intertwined or overlooked in situations. It only takes one inefficient part of the process to slow the whole operation down.

When these processes are inefficient, it can cost the supplier more, and the higher cost generally gets passed on to the consumer, or it will drain the company’s profit margins.

Big data is being used to catch the inefficient parts and prevent them from occurring.


To enhance the safety of drivers and passengers, big data is being used in transportation services with technology like sensors and GPS tracking.

You can witness a great example of data being analyzed in transportation in the railroad industry. The industry uses advanced technology such as drones to collect massive amounts of data of the rail systems.

The information is then used to enhance the infrastructure and improve the efficiency of the rail network.


One of the fastest-growing industry’s, cybersecurity, is using data in a big way to improve the security on the internet.

Cybersecurity analysts will use analytics tools to sort through large amounts of data to find potential hackers and cyber attacks. By utilizing the data available can help prevent attacks from becoming an issue for businesses and individuals.


As competition grows in the insurance industry, companies must find a way to differentiate themselves and attract or retain consumers.

study from IBM discovered that 74% of insurance companies reported using big data analytics has helped them gain a competitive advantage. Companies can use the information to personalize products and improve the customer experience, which has been shown to help businesses grow and expand.


Information analysis has always been a large part of education – testing, grading, and placing students in different programs based on their skillset.

However, education is now taking big data to the next level. It’s now being used for several different important aspects of education, such as:

  • Designing curriculums
  • Learning new trends
  • Implementing new policy’s or procedures
  • Placing students in the most appropriate classes
  • And studying the best practices for student learning

By studying student data on a large scale, teachers and other education professionals can offer the best learning experience available with personalized lesson plans.

How These Big Data Examples Affect You

If you haven’t noticed it yet, big data is all around and being used in several important industries and businesses you interact with every day. These big data examples are just a few ways data analytics are being used to improve the customer experience and enhance efficiency.

To learn more about big data and how it can affect your life, check out the rest of our blog!


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