Technology building on technology has advanced how businesses, people, and cultures interconnect around the world. Exhilarating, while at the same time scary, what is known as Big Data is offering new opportunities and innovations for businesses.
What Is Big Data?
Big Data is the combination of data from structured and unstructured networks. This data is information that comes from mobile networks, social media, and the internet as a whole. As a result, Big Data is a massive amount of data that is almost difficult to control or store. By most definitions, Big Data encompasses terabytes or petabytes of information. One example could be Twitter. In one day, Twitter amasses 12 terabytes of data from tweets and messages. Another example is the trading that goes on in a stock market. About 5 million stock trades can happen in a day, and a digital record for all of them exists. Businesses over the last decade have been overwhelmed by the plethora of data out there that can be used to analyze and tap into new forms of commerce.
Much of this exponential increase in Big Data has both been helped and expanded by cloud computing. Cloud computing is a realm of data where programs, commands, software, content, and databases are stored within the internet. Calling itself a “cloud”, the advent of cloud computing has helped the information technology invest in features within this new network. Now, objects that would be within a personal computer (data, content, files, programs, software, and more) could be stored in the cloud. A cloud would be maintained by a server so anyone could access and re-access their information from any form of technology, whether it be a personal computer or mobile device.
Big Data has been immensely aided by cloud computing, leading to more information to exist, stored, and used by people without the need of physical storage space (though servers are needed to maintain the cloud). Since clouds are open for many individuals, Big Data is almost a democratized ideal. Any individual, business, or group can have and access data in a cloud. This has led businesses to invest in new and innovative ways to use Big Data as an effective enterprise software solution.
For a long time, businesses have invested in business intelligence workers. These workers have tried to manage and optimize the networking of businesses so they can tap into Big Data information. However, since Big Data exponentially grows, more businesses have invested in data scientist professionals. A data scientist is a computer and information technology scientist who has business insight. This allows them to be innovative interpreters of Big Data.
A data scientist is trained to interpret any amount of data in front of them and see patterns that can be creatively capitalized on by a business. Other analysts have existed for sometime for companies, however, they often used data from one source. With Big Data, a data scientist is needed to investigate how the data in the vast sea of information can be used to benefit a business.
What the Future Holds
With the help of a data scientist, many businesses can capitalize on the amount of information in the cloud making up Big Data. What sort of projects can a data scientist help a business accomplish? One strategy that has been talked about is how businesses can use the information in Big Data to calculate consumer behavior and emotions. Data scientists can use the information from social media, mobile computing, and online shopping to create profiles of consumers. This modeling can help many businesses see how to better market to consumers and learn what consumers want. Social media profiles also track what consumers are doing, such as where they are “checking-in” or what they are watching. This kind of information can be incredible for advertisers to use for their purposes and are also more variables that can measure consumer activity.
Data scientists can also use information to help with the analytics of a business. Many management tools are used to measure performance and efficiency. With Big Data, data scientists have more variables to measure when dissecting sale numbers or logistics. Using this kind of data can better assess departments in the workplace and management.
Whether it is to reflect on business operations or to predict consumer behavior, Big Data offers numerous opportunities to capitalize on for businesses and entrepreneurs.
Jon Welsh is a freelance writer who works with ASG Software Solutions and is interested in covering the advancements of information technology and future business trends.