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How Big Data Makes the Sharing Economy Possible

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Long before capitalism and big corporations ruled the world, we used to survive using different tactics: sharing. Bartering, sharing skills, and helping one another in order to feed ourselves and keep sheltered was simply a necessity. These days, we’re starting to shift back to those roots with the “sharing economy”—a concept that would not be possible in modern times without the help of big data’s ability to bring us together. Whether you know it or not, you’re probably participating in the new trend of the sharing economy—but what is it, exactly, and how does big data make this new (old) way of life possible?

What is the Sharing Economy?

Essentially, the sharing economy is the concept of crowdsourcing goods and services from others. This is usually done off of an online or mobile platform that fields requests and provides “matchmaking” services to facilitate sharing. This might mean calling a ride from someone with a car and a few extra hours to spare, buying a meal your neighbor cooked, or renting out someone’s apartment when you’re visiting a new city. You can even start a business by leveraging peer-to-peer lending—a process that bypasses banks and allows individuals to invest in a business via …

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