Do you feel like a stranger in your own world sometimes? Does all this new technology make you feel like an immigrant in a new country? You are not alone. Technology is moving so fast these days, even professionals try to catch up. After discussing the Internet of Things in my previous post, I feel its time to get acquainted with BIG DATA.
What is Big Data?
Lets just start with what data signifies today. Just data, not the Big Data variety. Data refers to information we put in our computer every time we write something or make entries in a spreadsheet. Pretty straight forward so far.
Today though, data is generated in many more ways. Every time we use our tablet or smartphone to connect with others, we create data. Every time we send an email, play a game or purchase something online we generate data. Same goes with liking a photograph, buying movie tickets, or using a smart watch. Tons of data is generated and stored about our health and life choices when exercising with our smart watch.
So Big Data, as you might have guessed already, is massive amounts of data. Today’s technology enables the collection, storage and analysis of mind-blowing amounts of information. According to Oracle, the volume of available data doubles every two years.
Three key concepts define the term Big Data today:
- Volume, as in high volumes of structured, unstructured or semi structured data.
- Velocity, as in the fast rate of collection and analysis. Today there is even products that operate on real-time information.
- Variety, as in the many different types of data. Today they can even derive from audio and video files.
So we have Big Data. What about it? Why is it important?
According to the World Economic Forum, Big Data analysis will reveal patterns and connections that will vastly improve most human activities.
Big Data means more information, more information leads to better and more comprehensive answers. Better answers provide better solutions.
Often, better solutions lead to even better quality of data, so the circle closes and opens again leading to accelerated progress.
The significant question is what organizations are doing with Big Data. Analysis provides information that enables organizations to implement:
- cost and time reductions
- maintenance based on accurate predictions
- augmented customer experience
- smart decision making and innovation
- new product development
- optimized services
- more comprehensive business strategies
What is really interesting is all the effort, imagination and creativity that is required in order make sense of all this and come up with something useful. I was surprised to read about the importance of asking the right questions. Behind all this technology there is highly skilled people involved in a process of discovery and innovation. All this doesn’t just happen automatically, which often comes as a surprise to non-tech people.
I am looking forward to finding out what you think about BIG DATA. Send me a reply below with your thoughts and questions.
What else would you like to know about Big Data?
What new development would you like me to write about next?