What is Big Data? Importance and Applications

Big Data refers to the large datasets that may become difficult to work with. In some cases, the size has been known to rise to 50 TB or multiple petabytes. The technology has enabled us to handle big data in an intelligent way. We can analyse and interpret the data for its use in different industries. The only risk is that we don’t focus on the quality of data analysed. It can have many uses such as basis of product sentiment analysis, thereby leading to product improvements. It has been estimated that 90% of big data in the world has been collected within the last 2-3 years.  

Big Data

Modern social media platforms

Big data forms the basis of most popular social media platform i.e. Facebook. It collects more than 500 TB of data every day. This data comprises of likes, status updates, photo uploads and all related interactions. Similar is the case with blogging site Twitter which collects more than 10 TB of data per day.

Types of big data

In the business world, big data can be separated into two groups. The first group is transactional data which comprises of data collected such as on-line shopping and logistics. The second group is interactional data which collects huge data around interactions between people such as social media profiles, photos etc.

Uses of big data

Big data is being considered by most businesses to outperform their competitors. It can be used to increase market share, analyse operating margin and evaluate return on capital invested. It can also be used to improve company’s profile, products available and services offered. It can serve as an exclusive resource of large enterprises with large sets of data. Big data is now available as a service which makes it easily accessible to the masses involved.

  • Improves customer retention – The powerful tool of big data i.e. data recommendation engine can help improve customer retention. A data recommendation engine can make suggestions based on what the customer is looking for. By analysing the data collected, suggestions can be made to present the customer with the most relevant information. It allows the businesses to understand what the customers like.
  • Success of on-line stores – The ability to handle big databases of thousands of items has benefited on-line stores and business houses. The customers can get confused on the large number of products offered to them. By collecting data about the products being most commonly purchased and correlating that data with the customer intelligence, big data can reduce the confusion of choice. The customers can be directed to exactly what products they are looking for. Besides, on-line industry, big data has also moved into healthcare, travelling, airlines, auto mobiles and other sectors. It is expected that the future will have effective marketing strategies based on data analysis.

The amount of huge data obtained on-line is enormous, but compiling the same could be somewhat troublesome. Big data could be consolidated into meaningful information by using techniques such as clustering, parallel processing and columnar databases.