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In its most basic and generic form, big data is a term that describes data sets – both large and complex- especially from new sources, that are difficult to store and process using traditional database management and processing applications. It seeks insight into an organization’s problems and can be analyzed to take better strategic steps.

Thing is, the concept of big data became prominent in the early 2000s when industry analyst Doug Laney birthed the popular definition of big data using the three V’s. The main characteristics of big data include high volume (volume-based), high velocity and high variety. The use of these characteristics has led many companies in the IT industry to create their proprietary solutions for storing and analyzing huge amounts of data. It can be used for many purposes, especially in decision-making processes such as forecasting, risk analysis.

Characteristics of Big Data 

  1. Volume: Businesses gather data from different sources which include business transactions, industrial equipment, social media, etc. Once upon a time, storing plenty of data used to be a drag. However, less expensive storage on platforms makes it easy. This is huge for two reasons: It makes it possible to collect more data continuously, driving innovation in real-time. Organizations can now access, process and store data at much faster speeds. And technology is not a damper; it’s part of the fuel. Data is now being collected in different ways. The ability to store large amounts of information at a low cost has made this possible. 
  2. Velocity: This is the fast rate at which data is received and may be acted on. In the massive trend of the Internet of Things, an unbelievable amount of data is being generated. Businesses must handle this data in real-time, which will require a lot of extra energy.
  3. Variety: This is an essential element of data. Variety refers to the various types of data that are available. Traditional data types were structured and fit nicely within a traditional database structure. With the increase of unstructured data, you have to deal with a myriad of different types of data, from video to images, to audio files and beyond.

Importance of Big Data

  1. Big data refers to the massive amount of data that companies collect on their servers. This data is then stored in huge databases and analyzed by computers to create relevant and useful information. Companies use this information to improve their processes, provide better customer service, send more relevant ads, etc. 
  2. Big data can provide an important competitive advantage over companies that rely on traditional marketing strategies. For instance, businesses can use big data to generate more leads because they have a better understanding of their customers’ needs. It allows for long-term planning. 
  3. Through big data, businesses can make use of advanced analytics and machine learning technologies to put together extremely detailed, sophisticated business models, which they could then use to tailor their offers and products to the needs of their customers.
  4. Data is useful because it allows companies to measure and analyze trends—especially consumer behaviour. Using the collected data, brands can then adjust their strategy based on what they learned. Thus, utilizing big data is a great way to become more customer-centric, so if you need new ideas and ways to approach your current client base, keep in mind that big data has the potential to help you out. 

Are you looking to use big data? How valuable do you think big data are for companies? Share with us.

Amaka Odozi

Author Amaka Odozi

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