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The gold rush over big data

Often in the online world, a new set of buzzwords like ‘big data’ goes from being something known only in the technology world to something that is mentioned frequently in mainstream media. Like many other technology buzzwords, the reality of big data was happening long before the media hype, and long before the technology world even gave it a name.

A short definition of big data is the analysis of sets of data that are so large or so complex that it is difficult for conventional data analysis tools and techniques to make sense of it all. Because tools and technologies change, what may have been a difficult big data challenge during the era of Apollo missions to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s becomes a middle school science fair project in 2012.

Modern big data problems included weather forecasting and designing search engines. Much of the media hype revolves around big data issues that could result in big profits for private companies. Some, like Michael Fertik of the company Reputation.com, are quite keen on the idea that individuals and companies can benefit from using big data related technology to manage their online reputations.

While the concept of using a third party to manage online reputations may be validated by the marketplace, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person or a company must pay a third party in order to benefit from big data related technology.

Many of the basic tools of big data are widely available to the public at no charge. The key to making the technology useful and valuable is the skills that are applied when using those tools.

Perhaps the most common example is the search engine. The largest search engines such as Google and Bing cost billions to develop and many millions per month to operate, yet they can be used without charge by anyone 24 hours a day for whatever purposes they have in mind.

Over time, most people who use search engines regularly come up with ways to use search engines to improve their lives or their businesses, and in most cases without paying for an expert or a company to do so on their behalf.

The rush by companies to capitalize on big data related business opportunities has many of the elements that existed in previous booms and busts related to gold, oil, and in the 1990s version of the Internet. Like the gold rushes of the past, some companies will likely become fabulously rich from the gold, many more may become as rich or even richer from activities that support the gold rush, but the vast majority won’t find a fortune and will likely not survive until the next gold rush.

How to use graphics to explain complex economic relationships

The world of business and finance are filled with numbers, and often filled with fairly complex mathematical concepts in probability, statistics, game theory, and operations research. This is true in just about any enterprise, and is especially true in those kinds of large-scale activities that support basic services in large metropolitan areas.

Dealing with garbage and recycling are one of those kinds of activities that every community has to deal with, and for larger communities it often involves many issues ranging policy making, taxation, electoral politics, and long term planning. Because of the policy and political aspects of these kinds of endeavors, it is vital that every stakeholder in the affected communities have at least a basic understanding of the scale and scope of what that community faces.

When it comes to these kinds of ongoing issues, anyone who is interested in affecting the outcome of the decisions that have to be made should embrace any tool that will help stakeholders and decisions makers agree to their point of view.

One example is the following graphic called the Secret Life of Garbage. A colorful and well-designed graphic like this may not immediately change hearts and minds about how to deal with garbage, but it would almost certainly encourage people to learn something about the issue.

Life of Garbage
Created by: BusinessDegree.net

Make smarter decisions with home loan calculators

Mortgage payment calculations are based on complex mathematical formulas, and fortunately there are many options for finding calculators to make this mathematical process easy and painless.

By using a mortgage calculator, it becomes very easy to know the monthly payments you need to make, and very easy to see what happens to your payments when you change key values like the amount of the loan, the number of payments, and the interest rate.

Types of mortgage calculators
There are two different types of mortgage calculators, online calculators and traditional physical calculators that have built-in functions for computing principal and interest payments. The online mortgage calculators are mostly used by the borrowers, and real estate and mortgage professionals usually prefer using the physical ones.

You’ll need nothing more than an Internet connection to be able to access the online mortgage calculators. They are available free of cost and are very easy to operate. You’ll just need to put in the necessary information, usually the amount of the loan, the number of payments, and the interest rate.

The most common types of mortgage calculators include the following:

  • Monthly payment calculator – It helps calculate your monthly payments easily and assists you when you’re thinking of taking out loans.
  • Interest only calculator – You’ll know the amount of interest you need to pay every month. The total interest for the term can also be calculated.
  • Amortization schedule calculator – It helps you cut down your loan term by doing calculations on the principal amount and interest rate of your loan.
  • Bi-weekly payment calculator – This calculator uses an accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payment method and helps you save money. Get to know the difference between monthly and bi-weekly payments with the help of this mortgage calculator.
  • Adjustable rate calculator – Say goodbye to uncertainty with this calculator. Know about the changing interest rates and how it is going to affect your mortgage payments.

The benefits of mortgage calculators
Mortgage calculators are beneficial in several ways when you want to refinance mortgage or calculate your debt payments:

  • They let you know about your affordability.
  • They will tell you the time it will take to pay off your loan completely.
  • They will help you learn about other better payment methods.
  • They will let you choose the most cost-effective payment method.
  • They will help you get the most favorable rates on mortgage refinances.

Using a mortgage calculator prior to making any mortgage related decision is important. The calculations give you an idea about the present market conditions and how you can benefit yourself the most.