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The Boston Globe

Opinion

farah stockman

Big Data’s big deal

The power of pattern in collective human behavior

A few years ago, New York City set up a “geek squad” tasked with analyzing vast amounts of data to improve the way the city runs.

It used information from utility companies to identify which buildings lost power after a storm; data from sprinkler systems to find those most vulnerable to fire; geospatial data from sewers to figure out which restaurants were clogging pipes with illegally dumped grease.

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