Comparing to the world we were living in 10 years back, we have gradually started to use tens of thousands of new devices, websites and applications. Almost all of them interact with billions of people around the world in some way or the other. Add to this the millions of queries keyed into dozens of search engines every day. All of this have led to consistent flow of data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have you ever wondered how all this data is getting stored and processed? Read on to know more...
What is Big Data?
"Big Data" is a newly coined term which is used to refer to huge quantities of data. This data can be structured as in the case of relational data or it can be in semi-structured format like XML. In some cases, it can take the form of unstructured data as well which includes images, text, Microsoft Word and PDF documents. Big Data can be characterized by 3Vs i.e. volume - often in the range of petabytes or exabytes, variety and velocity. What challenges does Big Data pose?
While storing Big Data is a challenge in itself, making sense of such huge data is another challenge. In the past, traditional relational databases were designed to deal with structured data up to the range of gigabytes. Since, Big Data is far more complex than this, companies had to find out new ways of storing such data. Moreover, new skills were required to extract meaningful information from this data - also known as data mining. Companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Amazon have come up with tools and technologies that enable customers to both store and mine Big Data.
Due to its sheer volume, Big Data often packs a lot of information. There are a number of companies who are benefiting from this data notably advertising agencies who are able to understand customer interests based on whether they clicked any of their advertisements or not. Based on this information, they are able to better target the right advertisements to the right customers. Online store owners are also able to determine customer's spending patterns and offer discounts on their favourite products. Using Big Data, companies are able to reduce time and cost, optimize their products and make smarter business decisions.
The Future of Big Data
Big Data is all set to witness exponential growth especially with many more devices including robots which are slated to hit the market soon. These new devices are only going to increase the magnitude of data than ever before. Big Data is also being consistently reported as one of the key trends in Information Technology. There is no doubt that it will stay that way for years to come so chances are more and more companies will get benefited by starting to use Big Data technologies. The boom of Big Data has already created new roles like Data Scientists whose goal is to make information retrieval quicker than before in addition to making more sense of data in lesser time. From the customer's perspective this would mean that they would be able to see companies being able to work cohesively and are able to pull relevant information that's personalized as well as sensible thereby maximizing delight.
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