The Definitive Guide to Big Data

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Table of Contents

Introduction

Big data has become one of the most popular buzzwords in the technology world, but it’s not just hype. It refers to massive quantities of information that are too big and complex to work with using traditional tools and techniques. Luckily, many more-sophisticated methods can be used to get useful information out of this valuable resource. This article provides an overview of what big data is, why it’s important, and how you can use it to your advantage in your own business.

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What is Big Data?

Big data refers to large datasets that are so voluminous and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate and they require new analytics tools and approaches in order to be processed and turned into information that can be acted upon. It has become a valuable asset for businesses as companies use it to gather and make sense of vast amounts of information. 

It can be analyzed in many different ways, from statistical analysis to machine learning. Big data, however, isn’t always big in the literal sense; it just refers to data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database management systems (DBMS) or data warehousing tools. Many companies have created big data platforms to collect and analyze massive amounts of user-generated content in real-time.

Why is big data so important?

With the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and wireless technological advances, people are producing more and more data with their devices, with roughly 2.5 quintillion bytes of data generated every day. Managing this massive amount of data and extracting valuable insights from it using traditional data processing applications has become a challenge for companies. That’s where big data comes in.  

There are several reasons why big data is so important. First, it allows businesses to make better decisions by providing them with a more accurate picture of their customers. It gives a 360 view of the target audience. Second, with the cloud, the business world is moving faster than ever before, and big data enables companies to understand and respond to market trends more quickly than it has ever been. 

Third, organizations can use it to optimize their internal operations and processes and to increase efficiency and decrease costs. As a result, businesses that utilize big data enjoy a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

Example

Social media is one of the biggest examples of big data. Facebook alone produces 4 petabytes of data daily, which is equivalent to a million gigabytes. Facebook collects a lot of information about its users, and they use that information to create targeted ads for each user. Another example would be Google. Google has amassed so much data on people’s search history that it can predict what someone might want to search before they even think of it. 

Both of these companies collect information from everyone who uses their services. They collect information such as how frequently you visit their website, what you click on while you’re there, where you are located when you use them, and so on.

Qualities of big data

There are several characteristics that define big data. The five most important features include volume, variety, value, veracity, and velocity. 

  • Volume – This refers to how much information is there. It can be measured in terms of bytes or gigabytes (GB). With big data companies are dealing with hundreds and thousands of datasets than traditional data techniques. 
  • Variety – This refers to how many different types of information are included in the data set.
  • Velocity – This refers to how quickly new information is received and old data departs from storage.
  • Value – This refers to what is the worth of information? What insights can we derive from it?
  • Veracity – This refers to the authenticity of the data. Is the data true? Is it accurate? If not, why not?

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The Benefits of Big Data Processing

Big data processing provides an increased ability to analyze large amounts of data, enabling users to identify patterns in large quantities of information. It improves operational efficiency. These kinds of discoveries can be incredibly valuable, helping businesses make more informed decisions and optimize their strategies for success. 

For example, a business could use Big data analysis to determine which products are most popular with customers at what times of the year. The results might help them adjust their inventory accordingly or change promotions in order to increase sales over time. 

It’s important to note that big data is also useful for gathering insights into individual consumers, rather than entire markets. It allows companies to target specific individuals with offers tailored specifically to their needs. For instance, if a company discovers that a customer frequently purchases items online after lunch on Wednesdays, the company may decide to run an online promotion on Wednesday afternoon.

Tools for big data processing

When choosing a tool for big data processing, remember that it’s not just about what you want to do with the data, it’s also about how much data you have to work with. The key features you must look for in the tool are

  • Ability to handle large amounts of data
  • Support for multiple programming languages
  • Ease of use
  • Cost 
  • Cloud compatibility

While these criteria may seem straightforward, they can be difficult to balance against each other when making the decision. For example, some tools have an easier learning curve but aren’t as feature-rich or powerful as others. And some tools are more expensive than others but offer better performance and reliability.

 

The amount of data we generate and store in digital format every day grows by leaps and bounds. What’s even more amazing is that 90% of all big data has been generated over just the last two years. When most people hear the term big data, they think about the huge amounts of information that companies like Google and Facebook have to deal with daily. But Big data means much more than that. It creates new predictive models that can make companies more efficient in the areas of customer relationship management, online marketing, and much more. Big data is certainly changing the way many businesses work with their data.

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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