The Big Data story

Big data – as the name signifies is a general term used to define the rapid growth and availability of structured and unstructured data in all formats. The reason why it has been termed as “big data” is because it defines data sets so large and complex that it cannot be managed by typical data management systems or any traditional form of data processing applications.

Big data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software programs to capture, manage and process within a reasonable time span. A 2011 McKinsey report suggests suitable technologies to manage Big Data that include A/B testing, crowd sourcing, data fusion and integration, genetic algorithms, machine learning, natural language processing, signal processing, simulation, time series analysis and visualization. As of 2012, Big data has increased the demand of information management specialists and Fortune 500 companies such as Oracle Corporation, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, HP and Dell have spent more than $15 billion on software firms only specializing in data management and analytics.

The theory of big data has become a hot topic among businesses and societies. Big data means more data and more knowledge, which in turn means accurate analysis and better decision making. With exponential growth in data, big data is now being associated with three main attributes i.e. volume, velocity and variety. This huge data is been used to spot business trends, determine quality of research, prevent diseases, determine real-time roadway traffic conditions and also combat crime. These are just a few of the typical uses of Big Data.

Big data, in a typical business scenario can be defined as a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing finding and analysis. Here it is important to remember that data received and gathered could be structured and/or unstructured. Structured data is anything that can be easily understood and comprehended i.e. interactions between people and machines, such as web applications or social networking platforms. Whereas unstructured data is something that cannot be easily interpreted or organized and is typically text-heavy. Meta tags, XML feeds, software code are few examples.

With increase in globalization and world markets becoming more competitive, it is important that businesses and organizations start understanding the importance of big data. It not only helps business owners make better decisions, but it also gives surprising insights about different markets and trends. Big data has helped organizations completely re-engineer their business model, thereby adding value to their end users or customers. With the right use of BIG Data, businesses can expand their customer engagement and intelligence. From a customer’s perspective, it’s a simple question to answer: “Don’t you remember me?” For any company with hundreds to millions of customers, that recognition doesn’t always happen, but big data can help overcome that problem and will equip you to offer a customized approach to your customers.

BIG data, is here to stay and is ever increasing. With markets and businesses becoming more digital and cloud based, entrepreneurs are understanding the importance of this new data theory and are gradually increasing spending budgets to fund BIG DATA management initiatives.

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