The Power of Big Data

  • May 26, 2017

Bob Marshall on What’s Working in Washington

Federal News Radio recently featured Earth Networks CEO Bob Marshall on their popular What’s Working in Washington podcast. In the podcast, which you can listen to using the media player below, Bob talks about big data and its many benefits.


According to Marshall, collecting data and turning it into intelligence can actually save lives, money, and maybe even the environment.

Safety & Savings Through Big Data

When it comes to big data, it’s not so much the data that matters but what organizations do with the data that makes it so valuable. Here are a few examples of industry’s that use big data and what they use it for.


The first industry that benefits from the kind of data Earth Networks specialize in is the banking industry. Banks are challenged with finding new and innovative ways to turn big data into big rewards. They use big data to:

  • Understand customers and boost their satisfaction
  • Minimize risk and fraud
  • Maintain regulatory compliance



Next are governments. Governments use big data for a number of different reasons, including:

  • Managing utilities
  • Running agencies
  • Understanding traffic congestion
  • Preventing crime


The National Weather Service of the U.S. actually uses Earth Networks environmental data to cut costs and gain extremely accurate real-time weather information during critical severe weather incidents.



Educational institutions also use big data. Schools and universities armed with data-driven insight have an advantage compared to facilities without. Schools use data to:

  • Education students
  • Identify at-risk students
  • Keep students safe from severe weather
  • Track student progress
  • Support teachers and principals
  • Support research


Health Care

After education comes health care. The amount of data in the health care industry is enough to overwhelm anyone. Extensive data and advanced data management systems allow professionals to uncover hidden insights and improve patient care when ti comes to:

  • Patient records
  • Treatment plans
  • Prescription information
  • Insurance information



The last big business division that benefits from integrating data into their operations is retail. Retail companies use data to:

  • Build customer relationships
  • Effectively handle transactions
  • Strategically bring back lapsed businesses
  • Evaluate marketing strategies



Big data doesn’t just help businesses and governments. Homeowners can use big data to cut costs and improve security. Our network is making home appliances smarter and better at working together. By collecting information about insulation, for example, we’re able to build a model of an individual’s home and send tailored instructions to its thermostat. “We can actually save 16% additional energy, which is meaningful money,” says Marshall.

Marshall also explained how weather data makes life safer for homeowners in the event of severe weather.

Our network has the capability to double the warning time on tornadoes. That has a very direct impact on consumers.

Earth Networks Data

Bob was excited for the chance to be featured on What’s Working in Washington. For 20 years, Earth Networks has been operating the largest weather sensor network in the world. We collect information from over 1,500 weather sensors, cameras, and some of the world’s most advanced lightning detection devices to improve everyday life and help governments around the world.

Before Earth Networks, the National Weather Service operated its own sensor networks. This allowed NWS to collect its own data, but it wasn’t enough. Now, the government benefits immensely from its partnership with Earth Networks because they get a larger amount of accurate data for a decreased cost.

Use the media player below to listen to Bob’s segment: “Big data goes beyond weather stats.”