By Paul C. Darley

Paul is chairman, CEO and president of W.S. Darley & Co. He is a past president of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers’ Association (FAMA) and served on the board of directors of Fire and Emergency Manufacturers and Services Association (FEMSA). He has visited fire services in more than 80 countries. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Marquette University and a master’s degree in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

“Big Data” is a term used a lot these days. It basically describes the large volume of data—both structured and unstructured—that inundate us on a day-to-day basis. But, it’s not the amount of data that’s important; it’s what organizations do with the data that matters. In the business world, big data can be analyzed for patterns and insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves. In our world of firefighting, big data can be used to save lives and property, while making fire departments more operationally efficient.