Big Data: What it is and Why it matters to your business
Big Data is a collection of data (both structured and unstructured) that is large in volume and grows exponentially with time. The value of Big Data does not come from how much data you are owing. It matters when you can use it to develop your business.
The recent decade witnessed a revolution in technology and the internet. Big Data is becoming a prominent keyword, not only for tech gurus but also for people from multiple business sectors. This guide will explain how Big Data is applied to business and why you should take advantage of Big Data to develop your organizations.
What is Big Data?
By definition, Big Data is data in a huge size. It can also be regarded as a collection of data (both structured and unstructured) that is large in volume and grows exponentially with time. That’s why none of the traditional data management tools can be used to store and process Big Data efficiently.
Big Data is usually defined by 5 mainstream attributes, which are abbreviated by 5Vs: Volume, Variety, Veracity, Velocity and Value.
- Volume: There is no exact number defined as the minimum size level of Big Data. However, it usually comprises a large amount of data in terabytes or more.
- Variety: Big Data consists of various data types in both structured and unstructured formats. Some examples of formats are numeric databases, text documents, emails, videos, audios, financial transactions…
- Veracity: Big Data comes from multiple sources so it is difficult to maintain the accuracy and trustworthiness of the data sets. To keep Big Data under control, businesses need to connect and correlate relationships, hierarchies and data linkages.
- Velocity: With the growth of Internet of Things, Big Data can be streamed and updated in real-time or at a very fast pace.
- Value: Business owners need to understand the value that Big Data brings to their business so that the data can be used in an effective way.
There are also other Vs (around 10 Vs in total) that were proposed by industry analysts.
We can see so many examples of Big Data applications in daily life: The New York Stock Exchange generates around one terabyte of trade transactions per day; Facebook collects +500 terabytes of new data every day, including photos, videos, messages exchanges, comments…; A single flight can generate +10 terabytes of data in 30 minutes.
Why does Big Data matter to your business?
According to Donald Farmer, principal of analytics consultancy TreeHive Strategy, Big Data is “the lifeblood of modern business”. The value of Big Data does not come from how much data you are owing. It matters when you can use it to develop your business.
After being combined with high-performance analytics, Big Data can help your organizations to have:
- Better customer insights such as customer behavior and preferences
- Increased market intelligence
- Agile supply chain management
- Smarter recommendations and audience targeting
- Data-driven business decisions
- Operational improvements
- Data-proofing business forecast.
In addition to the basic benefits mentioned above, because of its Velocity, Big Data is often used to provide up-to-date information and give out necessary alerts for organizations.
Some applications of Big Data in business
Applying Big Data in business means you are bringing more value to your existing data. Simplilearn has just published the list of Top 10 industries using big data applications:
1. Banking and Securities
2. Communications, Media and Entertainment
3. Healthcare Providers
5. Manufacturing and Natural Resources
8. Retail and Wholesale trade
10. Energy and Utilities
In Banking and Securities, Big Data is used to monitor financial market activity. Combined with analytics and optical character recognition (OCR)OCR processors, it can detect illegal trades in the market and give alerts to all stakeholders involved. Retail traders, banks and funds useused Big Data for analytics, capturing and forecasting the market trend. This industry also needs Big Data for risk analytics and fraud mitigation.
In Communications, Media and Entertainment, organizations usually use Big Data to collect, analyze and utilize customer insights. Therefore, they can create the right content for the right target audiences, recommend content on demand or measure content performance. For example, Amazon Prime uses Big Data to offer books, pieces of music or videos to their different customers, which is ultimately to enhance the customer experience.
In Education, some universities have used Big Data to manage their students and teachers. They can track the studying time of students, the overall progress of a student over time, student matters, student behaviors or teacher’s performance. On a higher level, governments can use Big Data to ensure the quality of universities and programs by detecting the patterns of the system.
Understanding well the importance of Big Data, InvestIdea is providing Big Data & Data Analysis for businesses from various sectors, such as Education, Healthcare, Fintech and Retail. Due to the diversity of businesses, InvestIdea always has in-depth discussions with clients to comprehend their issues and come up with the most optimal solution.