By the literal meaning of the words, it is understood that ‘big data’ refers to huge amounts of data; however, there is more to it than meets the eye. A business receives both, structured and unstructured data in large volumes on a daily basis, but here, the volume is not what you should focus on. It is what you can do with this data that should be of interest to you. With today’s data being collected in such large amounts, it is often unstructured and even time-sensitive, which is why relational database engines are not able to process it as efficiently and effectively as needed. The new data approach uses substantial parallelism on easily available hardware to process the huge chunks of data appropriately.
Today, every piece of data that we receive or create is in raw format and is much greater in volume than what we used to generate even a week or month prior. Moreover, we have come a long way from databases and spreadsheets, therefore relying on the same old machinery and techniques for emerging data processing needs is simply pointless, not to mention, time-consuming and ineffective. Today, our every move leaves a digital trail, but analyzing how that trail can be useful in the future is what this hype is all about.
Big Data Capabilities
So, why big data? Indeed, you and I were happy with what we had, i.e. our spreadsheets and manual data entry techniques. But could that really go on forever?
We are living in an era of extreme digitization where competition is at an all-time high; therefore, there are many opportunities that we can create if we utilize the data we collect. With large sets of data, you can gain insights for; new product development, quick decision-making, increased efficiency and cost reduction. With the right business intelligence tools and hardware, you can accomplish the following business-related tasks:
- Generate offers based on consumer buying habits on point of sale
- Determine the root cause of strategic or operational issues, defects, and failures in real-time
- Detect fraudulent behavior to improve security
- Recalculate risk portfolios
- Visualize important decisions to improve confidence
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