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Learn More about Big Data Featured

Learn More about Big Data Tim Mossholder

Big data is one of the leading technologies that has become a buzzword for the past few years. However, most people in organizations do not entirely know what big data is and how their organizations are set to benefit from it. As such, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions on big data that might help them know what it is and provided answers to these questions.

What is big data?

Big data is a complex subject. It is a question that many people talk about, but only a few understand it. It entails collecting hundreds of thousands of gigabytes of data, compiling it into sections, and analyzing the information for patterns and faults. The explanation is done better by understanding the 3Vs of big data, which are volume, variety and velocity, as explained below:

Velocity: This is the amount of data one is trying to access. It includes data from transactions, online shopping, sensors and machine-to-machine data and data from social media, among other sources.

Variety: This is the different types of data that can be used to compile information. This data comes from sources such as spreadsheets, text files, music, images, video and databases and many other sources.

Velocity: This is the speed with which data is captured, considering the number of sources.

How will big data help my organization?

As organizations grow and adopt a more data-driven approach, insights will play a critical role in enhancing operational efficiency and business at large. Big data allows companies to get market and customer intelligence offering them the information they require to assess their audience and give them what they want. Businesses, for instance, those in the financial sector, can detect potentially fraudulent claims through patterns and flag transactions.

Do I need to hire a data scientist?

 This is often a challenging question. Hiring a data scientist largely depends on the situation of your company. Although data scientists have been in demand over the past four years, they are not for every organization. Your company may benefit from the services of a Data Architect or Analyst instead. To help your organization grow, you must determine what best suits you. This can be determined by simply answering the question with a simple “yes” or “no.”

Is big data the future?

Big data has shown the potential to alter many industries and landscapes. With many application areas that big data can benefit, it is evident that it is indeed the future. It is the present since it is already being used to perform various activities. Therefore, the question should concern the relevance of big data in the future. As all signs show, big data will be critically relevant in the future. It is becoming a necessity in business, as opposed to it being an idea. It will continue evolving and will be responsible for changing how we see things and how companies view their customers, competitors and business operations.

Where does the big data originate?

 Big data comes from various sources, including social media, transactions, machines, or sensors. Social media, for example, provides remarkable insights and data that can be used to make critical decisions. The data include that from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Machine data consists of information generated by industrial equipment and sensors that track and monitor machines (mostly known as the Internet of Things or IoT). Other sources include web logs that track online behaviour. Transactional data emerge from daily transactions between a company and a business. Companies such as Amazon, which serves millions of customers daily, generate petabytes of big data that can turn things around if used properly.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for Big Data & Analytics Tech Brief

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