Big data is a faddish term that is constantly thrown around the business world, particularly the IT-based corporations. Some say it’s rather self-explanatory, while others get confused trying to shape a definition. The truth is that ‘Big Data’ is a concept that is constantly evolving because it’s roots are immersed in complex digital software and analytics. As long as technology will keep growing and transforming, so will the breadth of Big Data.

But, what Exactly is Big Data?

Big Data basically refers to data sets that are too large or complicated to be handled by the typically used software applications or tools. It can be differentiated from normal data with the 3 Vs:

  • Volume
  • Variety
  • Velocity

The three Vs implicates that the term describes your data that is produced and processed in enormous amounts, at high speed + frequency, and in multiple forms or formats. Big Data can be used to represent volumes ranging from terabytes to exabytes. Some companies may find it challenging to manage a few dozen terabytes of data, whereas for others several petabytes might appear insignificant.

Where does Big Data come from?

Humankind has been the source of data generation since the medieval ages, in various forms. Before the digital era, information was recorded and stored in a variety of physical forms. There was definitely a lot of paperwork, and every workplace had a designated room for keeping piles of files and directories. With the rise of computers and the internet, accumulating masses of data became more convenient. About a decade ago, 1 gigabyte of data sounded tremendous and now most of the everyday computers have a terabyte of memory; even cellphones can easily support a 100 gigabytes or more.

Today we live in a digital world and collectively our population produces about 2.5 billion gigabytes of data everyday. This figure can also be used to represent all digitized global data between the time computer was invented up till the year 2000. Fun fact:  90% of data that exists right now, was generated in the last 2-3 years. The escalation is mind-boggling, but understandable when you consider modern lifestyle. In current times, almost everything we do creates a digital footprint. Work, recreation and communication, all heavily depend upon digital devices. Our computers and smartphones are constantly monitoring and recording moments of our daily lives.

Big data includes the heaps of messages, photos and videos on social applications, readings from sensors in high-level machinery, recordings from street cameras and satellite imagery, GPS trails, transactional history of stores, and much more. The major part of this kind of data is unstructured and complex, therefore traditional methods or equipment are inadequate to capture or analyze it.

What is the purpose of this Big Data?

With the passage of each day, more and more businesses are embracing Big Data for its numerous benefits. Big Data gives a profound and detailed view of the entire system that drives an organization. It identifies human patterns, environmental changes and the relationship between different elements within a defined premises. Based on advanced statics and algorithms, it can predict the future of a company and help it make wise decisions.

Big Data is a management revolution because it digs out matters that are normally not visible to the naked eye, and opens new doors. Big Data projects use artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide cutting edge solutions and techniques for optimizing the workflow in an organization. Data-driven industries exhibit greater accuracy, efficiency, quality and quantity in routinely activities/operations.

What has Big Data accomplished?

Big Data is changing the world for good, because it has enabled the utilization of data in unimaginable ways. It has sincerely proven it’s excellence in the healthcare system via data driven assessment of patients. Quick diagnosis and development of evolutionary medicines have come from advanced imagery and assessment. Rulers of the entertainment industry like Netflix use Big Data to keep its audience equipped with shows/movies that match their interests.

It is an integral part of elections and the voting system worldwide. Sensor data can be used to predict natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods. Big data is also a huge part of criminal investigations nowadays; so much can be extracted from recorded footage and user databases. It has been quite useful in improving transportation ETAs, product designing, sales, and user experience.

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