What in the world is big data and just how BIG is it? That’s a question a lot of people are wondering, and not just the IBMs and data analyzer companies.
What is big data?
Big data refers to large amounts of structured and unstructured data that people can analyze and use to make better decisions. From helping scientists learn more about our DNA to city officials getting information about traffic patterns, big data is changing the way people view and interpret data as a whole.
What’s the big deal about big data?
While the term does not explicitly refer to a specific quantity of information, it takes too much time and costs too many resources to load into a traditional database for easy analysis.
In today’s competitive marketplace, companies should attempt to understand what big data means to them, analyzing that data. They can decide how they can leverage it and the general potential of data-driven operations and marketing efforts.
For example, the big data that means that most to a company should be triggered to company health – revenue and revenue potential and operating costs. In addition, companies can see data trends that relate to their specific businesses. For example, software companies that provide SaaS (software as a service) can see peak usage times.
How can it get even bigger?
The short answer is: yes.
Envision living in a city where the city planners can easily access vital information on traffic patterns, driver preferences and more to know where to build roads or where to widen them to welcome the influx of cars on the streets. Or where physicians and scientific researchers can use big data to identify disease patterns and develop vaccines to cure illnesses. From having your phone send you text reminders about when to head out to make your appointment, to curing cancer, the possibilities big data – and fast analysis of big data – present are far reaching.
Big data, even now, is learning a lot about us
Social media platforms, like Facebook, are enabling deep learning about people from health to trending attitudes, all from users willingly giving their information over.
Think about it. You tell social media what movies and shows you like. You tell it what’s wrong or right with you. You share data about your family, your kids, etc. In the realm of big data, all of this information can be processed to make some interesting analysis — from how certain movies are doing to our very psychology like what makes us (as humans and individually) tick.
Now expand this to how we use just about every device from refrigerators to coffee machines. Big data may help us collaborate better and find the most perfect content.
As you can imagine, people concerned about privacy may be more alarmed at the amount of data we’re willingly sharing as well as what will be done with it. Also as you can imagine, this information is valuable to researchers and scientists, too, who have an unbiased glimpse to make our lives better.
What do you think big data will do?
We’d love to read your thoughts below.