How big is Big Data?
The Glut of Data
I remember watching a video that went viral on the internet. It mentioned that in 2015 and 2016 combined, we generated data equivalent in volume to the data generated from 500,000 years ago till 2015! While the veracity of the information I just shared can be testified by reliable internet sources, the big question remains: what use is all of this data? Computer scientists had started mulling over this question long ago and they have, over a period of time, developed tools to analyze and make meaningful connections between data points. Today, we call this set of tools Big Data.
The Big Data
The unprecedented volume of data generated on the internet cannot be handled effectively with the traditional tools and hence the need for advanced Big Data techniques. Big Data involves tools that capture data, store it and analyze it to make meaningful connections. Of course, it also involves operations such as search, sharing & data visualization. The current usage of the term Big Data refers to predictive & user behavior analytics along with a host of other operations that help derive value from data points.
The Big Data Edge:
With the use of Big Data tools, companies can pounce on the competitor’s successful strategies and can either replicate them or devise their own strategies in response.
Better customer service
Analyzing the behavioral trends among customers can be a potential game-changer for companies. After all, it all boils down to the client conversion rates and the extra revenue that it rakes in. For instance, an Air Conditioner with a real-time sensor can notify the customer that something is wrong and needs immediate fixing.
While it may cost some money up front to create a data-driven organization, it eventually saves a ton of money in the long run. With effective predictive analysis, it becomes easy to detect and cut down avoidable operational costs over a period of time.
It is possible to get on top of your sales operations with real-time data analytics and optimize the sales channels. For instance, e-commerce retailers can get insights on which products are doing great and which ones are not – and the reason why a particular sales strategy is not working. This helps in deploying immediate course correction.
Real-time Big Data Tools
There’s a growing demand for real-time data analytics from governments to big corporations and in step with this surge in demand, there are more tools than ever before that offer real-time processing of Big Data. Storm (owned by Twitter), Gridgrain, SpaceCurve, and Cloudera are some of the most popular tools available for real-time Big Data processing.
Hail Uncle Ben!
Like most techies, I share a penchant for comic books and its cinematic universe and as I end this blog, I can’t help but think of those legendary words by Peter Parker’s uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility”. I know it’s a bit of a cliche for every Spider-man fan out there but it holds true when we talk about the power that comes with Big Data. Data security is of paramount importance. Strict ethical conduct must be adhered to by the practitioners of Big Data in order to ensure that the data is used for ethical purposes only. After all, as a few experts believe, the next war will not be fought with machine guns in battlefields – it will be fought on a laptop with high-speed data connectivity!