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Big Data- A Concise Overview

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    You might not be aware of it, but in today’s life, we are constantly making use of big data. Examples of big data consist of social media, and we do not have to tell you what an integral part of our lives social media has become now. Many other such examples will show you that even if annoyingly, we have been making use of big data analytics constantly but, what is this big data we keep talking about? No need to overwork your brain cells anymore. We are here with the answers. We have got it all starting from what big data is, to its characteristics, benefits, and types as well. All you got to do is to keep scrolling. 

    What is big data?

    Before we go on to understand what big data is, let us first once revise what data means. Data refers to qualitative and quantitative units of information regarding a particular subject that might be used later on to perform certain operations or draw certain conclusions via a series of observations. Data analytics, therefore, refers to the process of extracting required information from the data available.

    Now, big data refers to such a database that is not only big in itself but also keeps on expanding as well. Big data experience is an exponential growth with time. This data is quite complex, besides being huge in size. Traditional data management tools failed to process this data effectively.

    Big data examples include social media sites, stock exchanges, jet engines, and so on. There are three kinds of big data. They are:

    • Structured
    • Unstructured 
    • Semi-structured

    All the above three kinds of big data are somewhat what their names predict them to be. The first one refers to a database that has a fixed format. You could take the database of an employee table of a firm as an example of such structured data.

    And unstructured big data would be the output we get after our Google searches. The database of Google is also exponentially growing bigger with time. However, it does not have a fixed format.

    Again, personal data which is stored in form of an XML file can be considered semi-structured data. Needless to say, the first two are the ones affecting our lives the most.

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    Characteristics of big data

    The four Vs, namely: volume, variety, velocity, and variability, are the four basic characteristics of big data. What do they mean? Let’s take a look here. 

    1. Volume 

    The most fundamental characteristic of big data is its size. The volume of the database of big data analytics is the very reason behind the naming of the same. This volume of data plays a very important role in scrutinizing the value out of the available data. Big data tools take the phrase “the more the merrier” quite a bit too seriously!

    2. Variety

    It is a huge task to collect such a huge amount of data was collected from a singular source. The database of big data is therefore a mixture of heterogeneous units of information collected and maintained together. This is true for both structured as well as unstructured formats. 

    3. Velocity 

    Here, velocity efforts to the speed at which the data reaches the users. In the case of big data, data flows with Supreme speed. Not only is the information available to us in the blink of an eye, but the performance is consistent as well.

    4. Variability 

    Well, not everything is good about big data. Big data can also be quite inconsistent. After all, there is so much to handle. The huge storage of all kinds of data sometimes makes it difficult to get to the piece of information you are looking for.

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    Benefits of big data

    Now that you know what exactly big data is, and how much we use it every day, you probably have already chalked out a vague idea about the various advantages that come with big data processing. Let us help you develop a much clearer idea about the same. Keep reading.

    1. Businesses have become quite fluent in their services, thanks to big data. They get to connect to their audience directly over social media sites and get direct feedback and compliments as well.
    2. The same thing as mentioned above from the perspective of the customers is also another big advantage of big data. Customers can now reach out to the services directly. They can inform the companies about their grievances and share feedback with them.
    3. Big data offers more scalability. Various risks to different products and services can be predicted and necessary changes can be made by using big data analytics.
    4. Big data technologies also offer better operational efficiency, add is quite clear from all of the above characteristics and benefits that we have discussed.

    Hope the information helps you get a clear idea about what big data is. Well, it cannot be that difficult either. After all, we are making use of it every day!