Within the borders of the United States, the big data movement has the potential to transform business productivity. Private organizations are using data analytics to sharpen their strategies for advertising, marketing and selling, which ultimately enables them to increase profits.
In other, less economically developed, nations, the effects of increased data analysis could be different. Third World countries wouldn't just be expanding their potential commercially - they'd be getting their national infrastructures off the ground. By analyzing more data about their governments and citizens, these nations could address the fundamental problems that inhibit their growth, better integrating them with the developed world.
According to Business Day Online, such an effort is already underway in Nigeria. That country faces a litany of fundamental problems, including a disorganized federal government and a lack of robust social programs to help its citizens. Nigerian authorities want to address these issues, but they believe that first, the key is to ramp up their attention to IT. If they can accomplish that goal, then conquering all of their other problems becomes easier.
Patricia Florissi, vice president and global chief technology officer at American IT firm EMC, told Business Day online that cloud computing, social media marketing and big data were the major trends driving IT across the globe. She further explained that by tapping into these resources, nations like Nigeria could do more to improve their operations.
Rasheed Jimoh, EMC's regional manager for West Africa, agreed.
"As the global IT community examines the tremendous benefits of big data, the efficacy of cloud computing, and the inherent security concerns, there is no better time than now to bring this same conversation to Nigeria," Jimoh told the news source. "Today, Nigeria joins the train of success stories. We are certain that the conversations we have started here will continue to resonate and cause the IT transformation we would like to see in our various industries."
Of course, it will be difficult for Nigeria and other nations like it to ensure data quality - their methods of gathering information on citizens and organizations won't be as finely tuned as their many of their counterparts. But nevertheless, they must begin making progress toward clean data and improved infrastructures.
In the long run, this movement may level the playing field worldwide. If all nations have access to the same IT resources and data, they may ultimately have the same chance of economic success.