What is big data?
Big data refers to voluminous sets of information that is too vast and complex to be handled by traditional methods of computing and analysis. It is the next big thing in computing and works by generating value from very large data sets. Regular data processing software cannot single-handedly evaluate this data. The premiere challenges involved are in its capture, storage, analysis, sharing, transfer, visualization, operation, and security.
Why is it important?
The quantity of computed data on planet Earth is increasing exponentially for several reasons and traditional instruments are finding it increasingly difficult to handle this magnitude of data. Many times companies tend to ignore or excrete potentially valuable data due to lack of storage availability or inability to evaluate it. Big data is often characterized by the 3 V’s which are volume, velocity, and variety.
The tremendous amount of volume of big data that exists poses to be both a challenge as well as an opportunity.On one aspect, big data could help organizations to understand it’s resources as well as plan their execution effectively. On the other hand, it could become exceedingly problematic for them to handle such large amounts of data through traditional computing.
Velocity refers to the speed at which large data needs to be analyzed. Users want data to be streamed to them in real time and delivering this can be difficult.
Big data is becoming increasingly diverse. Today’s data comprises of audio, video, documents, simulations, stock records, personnel files, 3 D models etc. Many varieties of data are sometimes not even easily categorized and hence prove to be a challenge. Big data analysis is done using an endless network of normal servers that access information from the cloud using high-end algorithms. This way an endless stream of data can be analyzed in minutes with maximum accuracy.
How is it sourced and analyzed?
Data can be sourced from anywhere. We constantly produce a lot of data be it the shopping mall, public transport, GPS, your favorite food joint, health care, insurance companies, logistics, mobile applications. Even retailers love to keep a tab on their customer activity in order to track and improve sales strategies. Social media is also capturing vast quantities of raw material.
What are its applications?
Social media, stock markets, logistics, financial institutions, medical care, retail, IoT and several other areas of scientific advancement are starting to rely on big data for predictive analytics or user behavior analytics. TV channels analyze big data that consists of information regarding viewership to determine the most popular shows. Stock markets study the current and past trends to predict the future rise or fall in markets. All the smart devices work on this concept. Scientists are working on ways to make driving automatic and accident prone.
Due to the increasing quantities of digital data available life is getting much easier. Hadoop is an open source software that allows you to perform data analytics. It is extensively used by most big data pioneers. Big data is definitely the next big thing. Today’s data is tomorrow’s future.
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