IBM’s DB2 certification is a great way to validate your skills. But did you know that it’s also expanding the horizons on what Data Analytics can do? Anyone who shops online has already experienced Facebookand other frequented Web pages’uncanny ability to somehow know what you’ve been up to.
The first few times it’s a bit creepy. How do they know?Am I being watched? After a while, you just get used to it. The especially curious might even take the time to figure out how cookies work, how they can be cleared and so on. But the ability to know that you’ve been shopping for boots, and specifically Wolverine 100 Mile boots from Zappos, is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are four cool, creepy and intriguing examples of what modern data analytics do:
1. Break the news on a recent pregnancy
A few years ago, a concerned father called Target to file a complaint. Apparently, his high school-aged daughter had been receiving ads in the mail for maternity wear and other pregnancy-related items. It seemed to this manthatthe company was encouraging his teenage daughter, who to his knowledge was not pregnant, to procreate. Representatives apologized profusely to the disconcerted customer. They even called back a second time to apologize yet again for the misunderstanding. During that call, the tables turned, and the concerned father actually ended up apologizing to Target. His daughter was pregnant indeed.
So the question is, how did Target know? According to Forbes, it’s not because they had been spying on her. Rather, a representative explained that, through data analysis, the company has linked interest in unscented lotions, certain vitamin supplements and other goods to expecting mothers. This is a bit creepy, but admittedly sort of incredible. Apply these predictive analytics capabilities elsewhere, and the possibilities are endless.
2. Slay the old ‘six degrees of separation’ thing
It turns out that you may in fact be connected to any person in the world by more like 3.5 degrees of separation, according to Facebook. With more people than ever before leveraging the social media portal, the link between any two people in the world has been shortened.
“Calculating this number across billions of people and hundreds of billions of friendship connections is challenging,” Facebook mentioned in its blog post. “[W]e use statistical techniques…to precisely estimate distance based on de-identified, aggregate data.”
To be fair, researchers at Cornell and Italy’sUniversitàdegli Studi di Milano narrowed the six down to 3.74 in 2011, according to USA Today. Nevertheless, we can only assume that the human population has risen since then. Thus, the fact that this number has decreased thanks to social media is telling. Moreover, it’s a pretty neat example of what we can learn from data analysis.
3. Kill rats in Chicago
This really happened. They wrote about it in Fortune and everything. According to the report, the Windy City spent 12 years aggregating data about rodent-related complaints from residents. This data also compiled grievances about other issues such as graffiti and smelly dumpsters, but the rats bore the brunt of the data analytics burn. Data engineers used the volumes of information gathered over the years to make predictions about rat breeding grounds.
“We discovered really interesting relationship that led to developing an algorithm about rodent prediction,” Brenna Berman, Chicago’s chief information officer, said. “It involved 31 variables related to calls about overflowing trash bins and food poisoning in restaurants.”
The city’s sanitation department then used this information to combat rat infestations 20 percent more efficiently than previous tactics. Fortune noted that this is not the first time Chicago has used predictive analytics to solve a problem. For the past three years or so, the city has also been analyzing 911 data to try to predict crime patterns, and one time was able to preempt a shootout.
4. Get you a job
Whether you’re trying to predict customer pregnancies, determine the degree of human interconnectedness, kill rats or fight crime, data analytics can help. As long as this is the case, industries and verticals across the board will need qualified data scientists.
Basic computer training can go a long way to this end, but when backed up by formal DB2 training orCognoscertification,new career possibilities can be added to the list of things that data analytics can accomplish. Business intelligence, predictive analytics and machine learning are some of hottest technologies, and will continue to be for many years to come. What better time to jump into the data fray than now?
Check out New Horizon Learning Group’s authorized IBM training today to see if a DB2 certification is right for you!

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