We bring you an easy and understandable guide to the world of Big Data in simple words. Big Data is one of those newly emerged buzzwords of the IT world. However, due to its relevance to basically any field of human activity, it has rapidly spilt over into other industries. If you want to understand its essence, big data benefits, potential big data applications, and also pitfalls, read on.

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WHAT IS BIG DATA

Big Data is not only about quantity and volume, but also its complexity. That does not always concern the data itself. Sometimes it’s rather the sophistication of data processing, which is so ‘Big.’ That’s why new approaches and technologies like Hadoop or Spark raised. To deal with tasks that were not solvable by traditional methods of the relational world. The most common mainstream definition involves “the three Vs” with its significant characteristics:

Velocity

The first V refers not only to the speed required for processing Big Data but also to how quickly they are being generated in a constant stream. Many Big Data platforms can already accommodate real-time access for users.

Volume

The volume of Big Data varies from industry to industry, company to company. Data streams that would have been too big to cover in the past are nowadays crucial backbones of business operations.

Variety 

Data is a vague expression – it can refer to almost anything. But the truth is that Big Data can be anything and comes in all thinkable formats. We are talking about text, video, audio, and who know what else the future will bring?

BENEFITS OF BIG DATA

The most significant caveat of Big Data is whether they are used in a meaningful way to propel your business forward. In the long run, storing and curating massive amounts of data points can be costly. However, it is the biggest resource any company can tap into, and if done correctly, can provide some serious boost to sales and many other aspects of a business. The big 4 of IT – GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), have understood this a while ago, and others follow their suit.

Big Data Benefits Infographic

Large businesses are investing more and more money, and smaller companies are the next tier to catch up. Big Data has changed the user experience in every aspect of modern life, and more segments of our daily lives will follow. The more data you have access to, the more accurate can your mathematical models be – to understand both the past and the future of an issue you are trying to pin down.

big data and privacy/security

Bigger data lakes allow for more accurate models and can be used as a powerful lever in many different ways. Nevertheless, storing of personal data means responsibility for how they will be used. And especially, how to prevent their abuse. As a result, Big Data privacy is the next serious challenge of the present-day.

Recent negative examples include profiling through social media was used in the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal to segment and target voters. However, without legit use of the data. Another case was a large IT security company faced a massive loss of credibility due to the marketing valuation of their clients’ behaviour. Meanwhile, the EU is trying hard to clamp down on data abuse and user privacy with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Such regulations have a direct impact on Big Data usage.

Big Data is not a geeky pre-mature technology any more. It has already been adopted even by corporations with very high regulatory demands, including banks or insurance companies. Practical usage of Big Data means to apply a valid methodology and experience.