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A Beginner’s Guide to Big Data

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A Beginner’s Guide to Big Data

Everything is being driven by big data analytics — as it should be! But what exactly *is* big data? How exactly can you benefit from it?

· Big Data Zone
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Data matters a lot in businesses and organizations — more than we realize. It can influence a company’s plan of action and be utilized to project growth and success.

What Is Big Data?

Big data is the collection and analysis of information from various sources. It has two types: structured and unstructured. Structured data includes SQL databases, while unstructured data includes document files and raw streaming data from sensors.

The industry describes big data in three major Vs:

  1. Volume: A business can have multiple sources for its data. Technologies today have allowed business to store more data than has ever been possible.
  2. Velocity: In reality, data is coming in at breakneck speed — and in real-time, or as close to real-time as possible. Velocity also describes how fast data is processed and analyzed.
  3. Variety: In addition to the amount and speed of data that goes into your system, it also comes in different formats. From business sale records to database information, it’s all big data.

Companies find big data as an integral part of their strategy because it can reduce cost and time, develop new products, optimize offerings, and help you make sound decisions. It gives businesses the power to pinpoint the cause of their problems and other behaviors such as customers’ buying habits and risk portfolios.

Who Uses Big Data?

Big data is so influential that by 2020, it is predicted that 1.7 megabytes per second of data will be created for every human being. That’s about 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes.

At this moment, only 0.5% of available data is being processed and analyzed. The amount of technology present today that can generate and provide data is at an all-time high such that the technology needed to process and interpret the data is not yet available.

You’ll be surprised how beneficial big data is to many sectors. Below are some of them and how big data has changed their systems since.

1. Education

Big data can help educators more efficiently impart information and do student evaluations.

By setting up the right metrics, big data can assist instructors in monitoring the learning curve of each of their students. Curriculums and school systems can also be tweaked according to the data provided.

2. Health

The health industry relies on accuracy, and the timing and efficiency of treatment and medication are crucial.

Early detection of diseases based on patterns can help prevent them from happening. Patient records and prescription information analyzed in big data tools can improve health care in general.

3. Banking

This is the industry that has high chances of fraud and security issues. Big data gives banking the insights that will allow the industry to achieve customer satisfaction.

Aside from that, it can also be used to quickly detect unusual behavior from their customer’s account and act on it immediately.

4. Science and Environment

Discovering other signs of human life in the outer space is a continuous quest. The information coming from a machine on the moon is considered big data, which NASA and other exploratory institutions use to calculate future actions.

Natural disasters on Earth can be predicted using big data, as well. Certain preparations can be done through this to prevent enormous casualties and danger to the people.

5. Retail and Manufacturing

With the high competition in the market, manufacturers are using big data to maximize their resources to produce adequately. At the same time, they aim to minimize wasting time and finances. It’s a business move that they’ll benefit from in the long run.

In line with that, retailers need big data to market their output smartly and strategically. They can analyze shopping behavior of their target market and build customer relationships.

How Can Big Data Benefit Businesses?

Big data is changing the current norm in business models. It influences decisions and drives changes in organizations. Companies are now adjusting their strategies to be data and performance-driven. Instead of making decisions on a whim, they back it up with numbers and figures.

Big data also gives a new perspective when dealing with various industries. It provides in-depth information that is useful in many ways. It’s already so capable now, and it will only become more capable in the future. Eventually, businesses will invest more in data cloud storage, faster processors, data platforms, parallel processing, and cloud computing.

Find the perfect platform for a scalable self-service model to manage Big Data workloads in the Cloud. Download the free O'Reilly eBook to learn more.

Topics:
big data ,data analytics ,structured data ,unstructured data ,enterprise

Published at DZone with permission of Kamesh Ganeson. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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