Big data & dogs
By Mike Thacker-Cooke
20th January 2017

Big Data is changing the world around us and is constantly affecting our daily lives, whether this be at home, in the car or even at work but it’s not just us humans that big data is having an impact on – our pets are also being affected.

I own a Pomchi – a Pomeranian Chihuahua - named Lucy (you can see her on the picture for this blog) and as a proud dog owner I’m fascinated by how big data and analytics are changing the lives of many dogs across the world. 

Helping shelters

In America dog shelters are using big data to pinpoint and map where and when vulnerable dogs are abandoned the most. This allows them to prioritise their efforts of awareness and searching in certain areas. The big data can also help them to find abuse patterns, meaning they can look at the common signs and work out which dogs are at high risk of abuse and abandonment. 

Big data is also being used in advertising and marketing campaigns of animal shelters. By using the data that comes from this they are able to make the adoption process more streamlined and effective, meaning less time in the shelter for the animal. 

Helping owners

But it’s not just dogs in shelters that are being affected by big data. As pet owners we love to know what our dogs get up to all of the time, I happily admit I have a camera in my house that live streams to my phone so I can see what Lucy gets up to in the day – I can even talk to her through the inbuilt microphone!

When purchasing the camera I also noticed that you can buy dog sensors to help you monitor your dog’s fitness, while this may seem a little excessive it can massively help an owner discover if their dog is unhealthy and possibly obese. This data can help the owner change the dog’s diet and can also help the vet to suggest dietary plans.

Helping the blind

In August IBM announced they were teaming up with Guiding Eyes for the Blind in America. Guiding Eyes for the Blind had been collecting data for years to help improve their breeding and training programmes. By moving the data onto the Cloud with IBM they are aiming to use analytics to structure the data and identify patterns and correlations to how the dog is bred to how it is trained. By doing this Guiding Eyes for the Blind are hoping to have more guide dogs pass their graduation and improve the matching process between dog and owner.

We are a world of dog lovers so knowing data is helping the less fortunate dogs in the world to educating pet owners of the dog’s lifestyle is exciting, as the world of big data and pets is only going to grow!

Are you a dog lover? How do you think big data will help dogs in the future? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

KDR Recruitment is the home of the UKs best Information Management and Analytics jobs. For more big data articles and blogs follow KDR on LinkedIn and Twitter.

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn. To view the original article click here


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