Saturday, May 16, 2020
Big Data and its importance in today's world
Big data refers to huge the volume of data (structured or unstructured) that cannot be stored and processed using the traditional approach (i.e. using computers processors or devices) within a given time frame.
How much data is called Big Data?
Data in Gigabits, Terabytes, Petabytes or Exabytes or anything that is larger than these in size. Even a small amount of data can be referred to as Big data depending on the context it is being used.
Example. If you try to attach a document to an email that is of 100 MB, we would not be able to do so. As the email system would not be able to support an attachment of this size, therefore this 100MB size of attachment with respect to email can be termed as Big Data.
Let’s take an example of real-world scenarios.
The popular networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked, YouTube etc each receives a huge volume of data on a daily basis. Facebook receiving 100TB of data each day, Twitter processes around 400 Million tweets each day, Linked receiving tons of TB of data each day, On YouTube each minute around 48 hours of new videos are uploaded.
But as the number of users is increasing day by day, storing and processing of this data becomes challenging. Since this data holds a lot of valuable information, this data needs to be processed in a short span of time. By using this valuable information, companies can boost their sales and generate more revenue. But using the traditional computing system, we would not be able to accomplish this task within a given stipulated time. Therefore, we can term this data as Big Data.
How is Big Data classified?
Basically, Big Data is classified in 3 categories.
1. Structured Data – The data that have a proper format associated with it is called Structured Data.
· Example – Data present within the databases (College Student database etc), Excel Spreadsheet etc.
2. Semi-Structured Data – The data that does not have a proper format associated with it is called Semi Structured Data.
· Example – Data present within the Emails, Log files, Word Documents etc.
3. Unstructured Data – The data that does not have any format associated with it is called Unstructured data.
· Example – The image files, audio files, video files etc.
Characteristics of Big Data
· Volume – The amount of data that is being generated.
· Velocity – The speed at which the data is being generated.
· Variety – The different types of data being generated.
· Veracity – The quality or the value of the data that is being generated.
Other important characteristics.
· Variability – The inconsistency in the data that is being generated.
· Value – The utility of the data being generated.
· Virality – The speed through which data can be transmitted over a network.
How is Big Data Stored and processed?
The traditional approach of storing Big data.
In a traditional approach, the data being generated in an organization such as Stock Markets, Banks, Hospitals etc. are given as an input to ETL System (ETL – Extract, Transform, Load these database functions are combined into one system and used to pull out data from one system and transfer it to others). ETL system would convert this data to a proper format and loading it into the database. Now, the end-users can perform analytics and generate a report from this data.
But as this data grows, it becomes a very challenging task to manage and process this data using Traditional approach
Drawbacks of using Traditional Approach
· Expensive System – It requires huge investments in establishing or upgrading the system. Therefore, not being feasible for small and mid-size companies.
· Scalability – It becomes a challenging task to expand the system when the data grows.
· Time-Consuming – Traditional approach the system takes a large amount of time to process and extract valuable information from the data.
Applications of Big Data in Various fields.
· Healthcare – With the advancement in technology and development of health tracking devices, every day tons of activities of individuals are monitored and analysed. There is no scope for human intervention in handling these data. Such data are termed as Big data and are processed to give a valuable outcome.
· Education – As there is an increase in demand due to the development in technology, education institutions and colleges collect data from various sources and processes to determine the on-going demand for a particular profession/degree and develops the curriculum as per the needs. This helping the industry to meet the demand by availing the people with that particular domain knowledge.
· Insurance – Insurance companies collect the data on “Determinants of health” such as food habits, TV consumption, marital status, purchasing habits etc and processes the data to determine the age expectancy of the individual and also determine the premium for their health policies.
· Information Technology – The organizations applying the principles of data along with the machine learning and machine intelligence, the IT department can predict the potential issue and help them in avoiding or overcoming them. Thus, Big Data plays an important role in Information Technology.
Benefits of Big Data Processing
Improved Customer Services – With Big Data the companies can analyse the user habits patterns from various social media sites and target their users more precisely. Thus, increasing the customer satisfaction rate.
Early Identification of Risk of Product/Services – By replacing the traditional feedback form with Big Data systems, the organizations can detect early about the change in demand and hence make changes in their strategies.
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