Over the years, the world has always had information readily available. We have evolved due to what we have done with that information. Now, companies have found ways to revolutionize the way they do business because of the way big data is processed.
Understanding What Big Data Is
Big data is defined as the vast amount of data brought together and analyzed for patterns. Big data is characterized by its volume; how much data is generated each second; the speed that it is generated; how fast it moves; the different types of data available; and how complex the data is. Without careful analysis, it’s just a mess of information.
Who Does Big Data Affect?
Big data affects everyone from organizations to consumers. The buzz around big data is how organizations use it to gain a competitive edge to grow their businesses. It helps businesses create value by designing products and services that are specifically targeted to the needs of their consumers.
What is Big Data Used for Today?
Big data helps organizations understand and better optimize their business processes. It is used in customer relationship management, store location, pricing, risk analysis, advertising, product research, network optimization, fraud prevention, and pharmaceutical research, to name a few.
A company can optimize their stock due to weather forecasts and social media data. They use data to understand the behaviors of their customers and learn what their preferences are. The healthcare industry, in particular, has been significantly impacted by big data. The study of disease patterns in the field of epidemiology and the decoding of DNA sequences in the field of genetics would be impossible without data.
Big data help machines become smarter, thus the expansion of data warehouses. Research and development efforts are improved greatly due to the ability to process data faster and more accurately. Big data helps improve security worldwide.
How Can A Company Leverage Big Data?
Having data available is only advantageous to an organization when it is analyzed and turned into meaningful information. That is why it’s important for an organization to invest in the tools and technology necessary for proper data analysis and processing. This helps companies gain a competitive edge over their competitors.
For organizations that have just begin to keep electronic records, some data has yet to be transferred into the digital format. It may be necessary to get this into the system in order to create a more accurate and detailed picture of the data they’ve collected.
Information such as prior product inventory levels and the number of sick days used is vital data that an organization can use to boost performance. Big data can be used to tailor products and services to consumers by narrowing down their exact wants and needs, eliminating the trial and error approach of the past. Finally, a business can use the data after sales are made to work on improving their next product line.
What Is The Format Of Big Data?
Anything that can be collected, digitized, and stored can be useful in data processing. The information is sent to large data processing centers, if necessary, and creates useful outputs an organization needs. This can include:
- Emails and social media information
- Telephone conversations
- Internet browser history
- Digital media, such as books and music we read and listen to
- Purchases made via the internet or with our credit cards
- Users’ social media activity, such as liking, sharing and uploading
- Inventory and shipping information logged into a company’s stock control system
- Human resources information
- Personal monitoring devices such as smart watches and heart monitoring devices
Real Examples of Big Data Usage Today
Even the government and politicians use big data in various ways. Take the FBI for example; they use big data to assess the level of risk a terrorist attack based on information collected from social media, phone calls and camera surveillance. Technology has improved facial recognition programs to enhance the use at bus terminals and even on social media sites. Social media analytics is used in political polls.
The data analyzed from downloading music or streaming videos on YouTube is used to determine our music preferences to music artists. Live traffic updates are created with the help of GPS signals in our phones. Companies can determine brand loyalty through social media posts on Facebook and Twitter. The loyalty cards in supermarkets and gas station chains are used to detect buyer patterns. The financial sectors use algorithmic trading data on a minute-by-minute scale to capitalize almost immediately.
What Happens When Big Data Is Ignored?
You can’t process big data these days with traditional models and old technology. A large team of data processing experts is a company’s greatest weapon. They can help sift through the data and make sense of it all. Companies need to invest continually in new technology to help analyze it because without using new technology, data could be misunderstood or misused, resulting in billions of dollars lost. InsightSquared’s infographic shows how billions of dollars are wasted due to bad data annually.
The Future of Big Data
The need to improve analysis of big data will never go away. It plays an intermediary role in business transactions. Big data enables an organization to see the big picture. It improves performance, enables organizations and individuals to gain new insights and enhances the field of risk management.