Practice English Speaking&Listening with: What does 'big data' mean?

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Feifei: Neil, what are you doing? That's

the biggest spreadsheet I've ever seen!

Neil: Hi, Feifei. Yes, just you wait.

I'm developing a product

that will revolutionise

English teaching!

Feifei: Great. So why are you looking at

screens of numbers?

Neil: Not numbers, data. Big data!

This is what I need. And that is

the expression we're

talking about in The English We Speak.

Feifei: How do you plan to use this data?

Neil: I haven't figured it out yet.

But that's not important.

Everyone's talking about big data.

Feifei: It is a hot topic. But big data is

all about analysis. You need to know what

to do with all that data.

Neil: Right.

Feifei: What you are looking at is

a list of... football scores...

from every country...

in 1987?!

Neil: Ah, yes. Not useful?

Feifei: Sadly not! Let's listen to this

explanation of what big data actually is.

We are surrounded by data. Every time

we use social media, buy

something online, or even search

for information, we are creating data.

Because there's so much of it,

and because it comes

in many forms, we call it big data.

Companies collect and analyse big data

to discover hidden trends and patterns.

For example, online retailers use big data

to learn what kinds of things customers like,

so they can suggest new products to buy.

Feifei: You're listening to The English We

Speak from BBC Learning English.

Our expression in this

programme is 'big data'. So, Neil,

how's your research going now?

Neil: Not well. It's hard to know

where to start.

Feifei: Well, you'll probably need

information on things like spending

patterns on language

learning apps, key times users

log in and how long sessions last,

how demand varies

by language level, data on first languages,

data on which kind of content is most...

Neil: OK. Stop, stop, stop. I'm trying

to write all this down. Feifei?

Feifei: Yes?

Neil: Can I hire you as a big data analyst?

Feifei: Sorry, Neil, you're too late. I'm

launching a product of my own.

It helps predict

football scores. In fact, I need a bit

more data from...1987!

Neil: Well, I might just be able

to help you out there!

Feifei: Yes, I think you were actually

looking at my screen earlier.

Neil: Sorry! You know, I think I'll leave

this big data stuff to the experts.

Feifei: Bye.

Neil: Bye.

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