The Movement Toward Big Data

Article by: Max Mickey, Senior Sales Analyst at Passport

Big data is here. It’s not going anywhere, anytime soon. We have the data, but what exactly should we be doing with it?  Many of you can relate to this issue. You’re utilizing platforms that are providing you with endless amounts of data, but are you using these pieces of information to the best of your ability?  As the question remains, we continue to be in pursuit of a solution. We have access to data, but when it comes down to leveraging it – we often get overwhelmed and confused.

As big data becomes a valuable asset, everyone wants to access these game changing numbers. We are starting to see more companies investing in a variety of ways to utilize the numbers. Take IBM for instance. When you think IBM, most of us think computers and software. You don’t think coverage of tropical storms, hurricanes, and the next blizzard. For IBM, acquiring The Weather Company and wasn’t just a random move, but a very strategic decision. Big data. As IBM competes against data hungry companies like Google, Oracle, or even Facebook they want to make an impact in the movement towards big data. Instead of leasing the Weather Channel’s data and technology, IBM can take ownership of the numbers they need and provide  data to other companies who might need the numbers. As part of their deal, IBM will get access to 5,000 Weather Company customers from a variety of industries, such as aviation, energy, insurance, and more. These will sync up with their Watson Internet cloud-based platform, where they can leverage weather patterns to predict buying behavior. Checkmate, IBM. Checkmate.


How about Hello Tractor. Hello Tractor is a mini, low-cost tractor with a GPS antenna attached to each device. The tractor will alert the owner when maintenance is needed. The company can then utilize the data from each tractor – for example, if a neighboring farm needs a service, the closest Hello Tractor can perform the services needed. It’s incredible how data is fueling each industry in its own way.

As the transportation industry gains data momentum, we’ll begin to see an increase in the value and efficiency of technology. For Passport, our cloud-based mobile payment platform uses real-time data to give our clients and users the best possible experience. Our citation management platform allows parking enforcement officers to issue citations from the convenience of their smartphone and in turn, pushes real-time data to the backend of our platform, Opsman. Both parking enforcement officers and parking managers can simultaneously sync their workflow with each others and utilize custom reports with real-time data. With Passport’s ParkOmaha app, when parker’s receive a citation they have the ability to pay or appeal their citation completely through the mobile app.  

With Passport’s mobile parking app, parking enforcement officers and parking managers can utilize these reports to gain insight into violation patterns, parking lot issues, and more.

The movement toward big data is as unstoppable as the hurricanes and rainstorms IBM is now predicting and analyzing. More industries are gravitating towards the inevitable progression, but the reality is they need to determine how they will utilize the data to provide value to their organization. As the transportation industry continues to embrace the movement toward big data, it’s just the beginning for the future of our industry.