Today, big data is not just at the disposal of established enterprises, but also on the bucket list or pipeline of businesses of every size and shape.
Often discussed in boardrooms and talked about in the media, the term is overused to a limit where the actual meaning of the word is lost. Hence, it is difficult for a lot of them to figure if big data is a tool, technology, or just a buzzword. A lot are even skeptical about its capabilities.
Therefore, we take this opportunity to demystify the bubble of interpretations created about the technology. This blog post will help you understand what big data is and how businesses can use it to improve the bottom line.
What is big data?
A solid combination of 8 Vs (volume, value, veracity, visualization, variety, velocity, viscosity, and virality), big data, in simple terms, refers to large sets of structured and unstructured data that is impossible to be processed using traditional technologies.
Computationally analyzed to derive patterns and trends pertaining to specific aspects of data, it is interesting to learn that there is no lower limit assigned that can categorize data to big data. Any amount is good, as long as there is enough to draw concrete and useful conclusions.
Additionally, the concept of big data represents the increasing amounts and different types of data that is collected through various mediums. Big data enthusiasts often refer to this to a fancy term called “datification.” And as we go deeper into the era of digitization, a huge amount of information is being transferred online almost every second and is ready to be analyzed. Social media, videos, online apps, online books, and various other mediums are the reason for an astounding increase in the amount of data available for analysis.
Believe it or not, but everything you do online is now stored and tracked as data. For instance, if you shop on eCommerce apps, data will be tracked to check what you shop, how often you do it, what is your average budget, and so on. And the kind and amount of data generated almost every second now becomes unmanageable for traditional techniques, and this is where big data comes into picture.
Reasons why big data is popular?
The increased popularity of big data largely depends on new developments in technology and improvement in infrastructure that eases storing, processing, and analysis of huge amounts of data. And since computing power is on the rise, the drop in costs makes the technology more accessible to mid and small-scale industries.
Big data is getting the center stage and is taking the world by storm by offering numerous benefits to businesses. Right from developing cutting edge technologies, staying ahead of the competition, to providing excellent customer service, big data is everywhere.
Data is crucial and can be the strongest reason for success or failure of any business. Hence, it is essential to harness data in the most effective way. Big data works as a blessing for businesses as it can analyze data for optimum results.
Why should businesses care about big data?
Data has always been of great value for every business. Often used to gain powerful insights, the rise of big dataworks as an excellent method to seamlessly analyze large volumes of data to derive insights with a higher degree of accuracy that make a direct impact on performance and decision making.
Additionally, it is important to realize that big data is increasingly becoming the key element to outperform the competition. Remember, quality data highlights are beneficial in acquiring new growth opportunities, identifying risk, and even forecasting market trends. So, who does not want all this information handy?
Pro tip: Harnessing the power of big data can get overwhelming as it is all set to offer businesses transparency in operations, better predictions, faster sales cycle, and overall larger profits.
Impact of big data on different industries
Data is increasing exponentially. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be 40 trillion gigabytes of data available. Out of which 40% is analyzed to be acquired from sensors or machine to machine information. And you will not be surprised to know that the information will make a considerable difference to enterprises. Having said that, let’s find out how big data has made an impact on a variety of industries (we choose a top few for our blog here).
Healthcare is expediting its transformation into digitization, and the amount of data produced is humungous. However, the good news here is every bit of that can be analyzed to offer improved healthcare services by deploying it to create custom-made medicines and to enhance medical treatments by eliminating fraudulent practices.
With technology taking over every sector, digitization of classrooms and examination project big data to have a substantial impact on the education business as well.
The transformation of conventional classrooms to video-training modules is making learning easy and progressive.
Telecom, a giant revenue-generating sector, gains advantage from big data, as it streamlines analysis of customer information. With the help of big data, telecom companies can now understand where their users were, with whom are they connected, and they can also get the hang of what their customer habits are on a day-to-day basis.
All this information and analysis opens a wide array of opportunities and increases the scope for improvement for telecom businesses.
Banking and finance
Banks have direct access to financial information of users. For example, banks have a clear idea about how much salary has been credited, what is the amount of money utilized toward purchases, pattern of investments, and so on. And this is the type of information that forms a base for cross-selling and several important decisions such as screening for loans, risk evaluation, pitching of credit cards, insurance, and more.
Top 5 tools to harness the power of big data
In no time data has grown manifolds each day, and now from kilobytes and megabytes, we are talking about terabytes, which is a lot of data. In order to analyze it for powerful insights, it is essential to deploy the right tools.
So, let’s explore
1. Apache Hadoop
Broadly accepted by tech giants such as AWS, IBM, Intel, and more, Apache Hadoop offers the ability to hold every type of data. Right from videos, images, XML, JSON to plain text. Termed highly useful for R and amp;D purposes, Hadoop can churn out quicker and highly scalable results.
2. Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop (CDH)
Aimed at enterprise-class implementation, CDH offers a free platform distribution that embraces Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, Apache Impala, and a lot more.
Additionally, this tool enables businesses to collect, process, manage, administer, discover, and distribute unlimited data.
Pros: Excellent with the management of the Hadoop cluster, CDH enables easy implementation, easier administration, and high-security governance.
Apache Cassandra, an open-source distributed NoSQL DBMS, is a tool that manages large data volumes spread across a huge number of commodity servers to deliver high availability.
Elements such as no single point failure, log-structured storage, automated replication, simple ring architecture, and linear scalability make the tool a popular choice amongst tech giants such as Accenture, GE, Yahoo, Honeywell, and a lot of others.
Knime is an open-source tool effectively used for enterprise reporting, CRM, data mining, data analytics, text mining, and BI. Additionally, the tool supports operating systems such as Linux, OS X, and Windows.
Once again, an open-source technology, Datawrapper is widely used for data visualization and helps with quick generation of simple, accurate, and embeddable charts.
Pros: Compatible with all device types—desktop, tablet, and mobile—it is a tool that operates on zero coding yet offers excellent customization and export options.
Data is irrelevant until it is analyzed to acquire useful information that aids decision making and works toward improving the bottom line for businesses.
Since the 21st century shows traits of being intimidated by the power of data, big data is something that cannot be overlooked. Highly impactful in the world of digital transformation, making the right analysis out of sensitive and useful data is the trick to beat the competition and make informed decisions.
And if you are looking forward to exploring information by experts, we highly recommend you visit the big data whitepaper repository right here and make the most of expert-level information to get meaningful business insights.