In today’s world, a person is easily decoded into a collection of his or her online activities. From tweets, status updates, group chats, photos, videos, to browser data history, favourite sites and playlists — every things we do when we’re connected to the internet makes up our digital persona.
But what would happen if you decide to go cold turkey and switch off the internet? Analytics India Magazine has listed out 11 things that we do offline that still end up making us a part of Big Data.
Every country takes a stock of its population by systematically acquiring and recording information about the members in their nation. This is one of the biggest sources of data for a country (and also the world). Policies, governance, elections and other basic properties are decided on these number. In India, the population is also segregated according to sex, age, religion, caste and geography, among other elements.
2. Government identifications:
Aadhaar cards, driver’s licence, PAN cards and passports are some of the many identity documents issued by the government that make us a part of Big Data.
Almost all residential and commercial establishments in tier 1 and 2 cities use CCTV cameras to monitor visitors for security purposes. Not only is this data useful for the establishments, it is also used frequently by the police to solve crimes. They also use facial recognition software to pinpoint the location of any person at a given time and date.
Cash withdrawal from any ATM around the world leaves a digital footprint. From CCTV camera to transaction details, the bank keeps a record of all the details.
5. Mobile phone towers
Even a basic phone without an internet connection is constantly in touch with mobile phone towers scattered across the globe. As long as the sim card is inside a phone that is switched on, locating whereabouts of that particular number is easy for the phone companies.
6. Car GPS:
Modern cars are fitted with a global positioning system (GPS) which is a 24-satellite navigation system that uses multiple satellite signals to find a receiver’s position on earth. A user’s whereabouts are automatically recorded with the help of this technology.
7. Clocking in and out of work:
Swiping access card at the workplace collects the log in as well as the log out time of an employee, staff or guest in an office. It is one of the ways to track the attendance of an employee in an organisation.
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8. Shopping patterns in stores:
Large as well as small retailers have only started using the unstructured data collected by them to their advantage. From shopping patterns, customer feedback comments, video footage, telephone conversations and location-based GPS data, bigger retail chains are now relying on data analytics to enhance customer experience.
9. Phone number-based loyalty cards:
Most of these days, from grocery to couture, loyalty cards and the associated “point” form a large data for the retail giants. From understanding the customer preferences to advertising or a particular brand, these cards help businesses monetise the data.
10. Property purchase:
Purchase of property, especially land, has now become a matter of public record. From keeping a track of agricultural and non-agricultural used for appropriate purposes, to clearing titles for resales, many states in India have uploaded geographical details on their official websites.
11. Offline surveys:
Many organisations as well as institutes across the world adopt door-to-door surveys to gather information about new researches, studies and campaigns. The data collected is analysed and uploaded on the internet by most of them.
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Prajakta is a Writer/Editor/Social Media diva. Lover of all that is 'quaint', her favourite things include dogs, Starbucks, butter popcorn, Jane Austen novels and neo-noir films. She has previously worked for HuffPost, CNN IBN, The Indian Express and Bose.