How Apple is Using Big Data

Apple is often on the cutting edge of technological advances, so it probably shouldn't be a surprise that the company uses big data extensively. Having said that, it’s important to note that it wasn’t always this way. Other businesses like Google were heavily involved in big data years before Apple took the leap, but Apple has worked tirelessly to catch up to the competition. Now, the company has become enmeshed in big data analytics, with the technology driving many of their most important decisions. It’s true that Apple remains highly secretive about how they use big data in many cases, but that hasn’t prevented some interesting insights from being divulged. By learning how Apple is using big data analytics, other companies can get a better view of how best to utilize the incredibly versatile technology.

Of course, Apple is in an advantageous position when compared to many other businesses. Their products are not only highly popular, but they’re already designed to capture valuable data. That’s how the company is able to gather information on customers relatively easily. It’s all that data that helps Apple determine how best to approach new products and services. One area in particular that has received a boost from big data analytics is application design. Applications are the useful tools many people have on their smartphones and tablets, and those tools can collect data on exactly how people use them. This is an important distinction to make, since in the past, designs were made intending to force people to use applications a certain way. Now, Apple can discover how people are using apps in real life and alter future designs to fit with customer tendencies.

The same idea for improving application designs can be used for producing Apple devices. Apple now has loads of data on how customers use their iPhones, Macbooks, and iPods, which gives them unprecedented information they can then use when designing new products or the latest versions of existing devices. The entire point behind using big data in this manner is to improve the customer experience. This also allows Apple to test out new features beforehand and determine what consumers would prefer before releasing a product to a mass audience.

One area of particular excitement regarding the use of big data is wearable technology, and Apple is hoping to explore new territory with its recently released Apple Watch. While Apple has already been collecting data on its customers, it now can do so at a record pace. The Apple Watch has the potential to revolutionize not just wearables in general but data gathering. Apple can now capture data on what customers do during the day. This is mostly done as a way to measure and improve people’s health. Sensors can collect information such as how many steps a person walks, their temperature, how much they eat, and numerous other factors that are then sent to Apple’s data warehouse for careful analysis. This technology is still in the early stages, but the potential behind it is intriguing.

In fact, the potential of big data with the Apple Watch has lead to a partnership between Apple and IBM designed to make the most of digital health information. Using big data analytics, Apple hopes to collect information on whole populations to measure health and improve lifestyles. This information may be used to treat illnesses, prevent the rapid spread of diseases, and even provide better protection against preventable sickness. The partnership is also looking to use big data to create health-related mobile apps, which can then be used with Apple devices. All in all, Apple has only scratched the surface of what it is capable of with big data, and wearable devices may be the area that sees the most progress in the coming years.

All of these examples don’t even touch on Apple’s use of big data involving iTunes, their new streaming music service, or the iCloud, but it’s clear that big data plays a key role in many of Apple’s strategies and technical developments. With the help of big data analytics and Hadoop cloud, Apple has positioned itself as not just one of the best tech companies around, but one of the best companies period. That reign will likely continue into the future as Apple utilizes big data in new and exciting ways.