What is big data, and why do we need it?
If you read tech news, you are most likely have come across a news item about big data and its importance.
So what’s big data, and why do we need it?
Big data is a field that analyzes and extracts information from data sets that are too large to be dealt with by traditional data-processing applications.
According to Oracle. big data contains greater variety, arriving in increasing volumes and more velocity. This is known as the “three Vs.”:
- Volume: The amount of data matters. You’ll have to process high volumes of low-density, unstructured data with big data.
- Velocity: This is the fast rate of receiving and acting on data.
- Variety: This refers to the many types of data that are available.
Why do we need big data?
Big data helps organizations identify new opportunities, leading to more innovative business solutions, efficient operations, and higher profits.
According to Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, “big data will spell the death of customer segmentation and force the marketer to understand each customer as an individual within 18 months or risk being left in the dust.”
In his report, IIA Director of Research Tom Davenport interviewed more than 50 businesses to understand how they used big data. Here is what he found:
- Cost reduction. Big data technologies such as Hadoop bring significant cost advantages when storing large amounts of data.
- Faster, better decision-making. With the speed of analytics, combined with the ability to analyze new data sources, businesses can analyze information immediately and make decisions based on what they’ve learned.
- New products and services. With the ability to gauge customer needs and satisfaction through analytics comes the power to give customers what they want.
How are companies using big data?
Companies in various sectors have been using data in different ways to improve their product delivery and cut costs. Here are some ways:
- Discovering consumer shopping habits.
- Prediction for ridesharing companies.
- Monitoring health conditions through data from wearables.
- Live road mapping for autonomous vehicles.
- Real-time cybersecurity protocols.
Some example of companies using big data is Amazon which uses big data to apply personalization and customer satisfaction. Another example is Airbnb, which used big data to understand the best and worst performances in terms of location to make helpful adjustments.
Tips for using big data
Here are ten tips to make the best of big data:
- Visualize the information.
- Use version control.
- Record metadata.
- Automate, automate, automate.
- Capture your environment.
- Begin with small.
- Budget for flexibility.
- Use a solution-oriented approach.
- Leverage cloud services
- Embrace analytic diversity.
Are you making full use of big data?
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