Make Data Work For You
According to SAS, big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. Data is readily gotten from different sources at an unparalled rate which must be timely dealt with.
The term “big term” might be relatively new but the act of gathering and storing data dates back to many years ago.
In today’s digital age, big data is necessary for big impact. And it is not enough for organizations to have data, they have to learn how to use it to improve their business processes, this is what really matters.
Globally, the amount of data created and stored is on a rising level which makes the percentage of analyzed data quite small. Businesses must seek better ways to use this raw information that come to them to enhance their business process.
The analysis of data sets finds its uses in different sectors of the economy in organizations like banking, government, education, manufacturing, retail, healthcare which all use data for issues such as spotting new business trends, combating crime, preventing diseases etc. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.
Even in all its usefulness, there are challenges encountered dealing with data sets which range from internet search, business informatics, finance, capture, storage, analysis, data curation, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating, and information privacy. Data set grows rapidly and comes in varieties i.e. in different formats.
The importance of big data
Again, the amount of data you have doesn’t matter, what you do with this data is what counts. Data from any source can be analyzed to find answers that enable new product development, cost reductions, time reductions, optimized offerings, and smart decision making. Combining big data with high-powered analytics can accomplish business-related tasks.
Making Big data work
You need to understand the source of your data before you can make it work for you. The general sources for data are
- Streaming data – sourced from a web of connected devices
- Social media data – sourced from social media interactions (mostly comes in unstructured or semi-structured forms)
- Publicly available data – sourced from open data sources like the CIA World Fact book.
Once you are able to identify the source of your data, you need to store and manage your sourced data.
The next step will be to determine which data is or not relevant for analysis. While some organizations will exclude some data from their analysis, others will not. It all boils down to what is useful and what isn’t for your business.
The more information you have to play around with, the more you can help improve your business process by making better informed decisions. You need to strategize on how to go about putting your data to use. Research and get technologies that will help out with this. Consider the following when deciding on which technology to help put your data to use:
- Faster processors
- Affordable, abundant storage
- Affordable open source, distributed big data platforms, such as Hadoop
- Cloud computing and other flexible resource allocation arrangements
- Parallel processing, clustering, MPP, virtualization, large grid environments, high connectivity and high through puts.