Predicting has always been a tricky business. According to Polish folk wisdom it’s often a na-dwoje-babka-wrozyla kind of thing.

Yet, business forecasting doesn’t allow for such leniency and aims at precision. In the age of Big Data information from various sources can be extrapolated to identify future trends, customer behaviors and more.

Will it be possible for marketers to know what you need even before you become aware of your need? Will the police be able to deploy officers to a crime scene even before it becomes one? Is the Big Brother already watching?

Check this out: “Use Big Data to Predict Your Customers’ Behaviors”



  • Big Data a huge collection of data sets
  • dictum – a formal statement that expresses a general truth or principle
  • immerse – be totally absorbed by some activity, it also means to go underwater (or any other liquid)
  • see what’s coming – know what is going to happen
  • data-crunching  – analyzing data, like it’s a crunchy cookie
  • immortalize – make something last forever. “Last” is a verb here, it means “continue.”
  • mall-intercept interview – Have you ever been intercepted by a person with a clipboard and asked to take part in a survey while you were shopping? That’s exactly what it is!
  • at every turn – on every occasion
  • preternatural – beyond normal and natural
  • wield – have and be able to use (check this video, fast forward it to 2:44)

Think about it

Based on the text answer the following questions. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  1. How does NYPD make use of Big Data?
  2. Where does Big Data come from?
  3. Why is a survey considered “an unnatural act” and what are its disadvantages?
  4. How do some retailers use Big Data to streamline their processes?
  5. What is “machine whispering”?
  6. What are the pros and cons of using Big Data?

Practice makes perfect

In the sentences below replace the phrases in bold with the expressions from the original text. Leave your answers in the comments below!

  • Knowing the right time to provide the right message (or action) before the time has come will give great potential to those who have and use such collections of data in a smart way.
  • It is only Big Data’s ability to cope with huge amounts of real-time messy data that enables this.
  • They can also collect intelligence from the quickly developing social media area, whether it is made up of blogs, chat forums, Twitter trends, or Facebook commentary.
  • …to tell in advance who will naturally make friends with whom.

Say it aloud

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Share your thoughts

We’d love to hear your voice!  Leave your comment below and tell us what you think! You are more than welcome to use the newly learnt vocabulary in your comments.