Beyond the hype of big data, there are a lot of misconceptions on both its meaning and application. Here we are going to explore the basic definitions as well as applications to create business values.
What is Big Data?
Big data simply means a huge set of data, whether structured (information with high organization) or unstructured (information from scattered sources). The study of big data is called data science, which results will be shown through data visualization. The tools that use big data may include machine learning, artificial intelligence,
Structured Data vs Unstructured Data
Most businesses uses about 20% of structured data in making their decisions. Structured data tends to be objective and mostly consists of numerical information. It is a simple data, without interpretation, Some types of structured data can be machine-generated, such as data coming from medical devices, manufacturing sensors, or web server logs (number of times a page is visited)
Creating Business Values from Your Data
For many businesses, values are created when:
Profits are increased.
Revenues are increased.
Costs are decreased.
Combination of any/all of the above.
Starting from those values, together with analyzing the available data, then we can decide on the tools to use. For data architecture, below are your options:
As you can see, in the traditional setting, data is kept at either Storage Area Networks (SAN) or Network Attached Storage (NAS). Then, we will program the universal desired function (relevant to your business value target) to the Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). In contrast, distributed computing runs several functions in correlation to relevant smaller chunks of data.
What To Do Next
However those are just the first steps to create value out of your data. The step-by=step technical approach can be referred to below diagram:
The process begins with your piles of both unstructured and structured data. Then you ask yourself, "what will be MY goal?" It can be to extract information on segmented market, your most popular products, the type of customer that brings you the utmost revenues, etc. Most of all, you will want an insight either to:
Increase your profit and revenue, or
Reduce your cost, or
Therefore, you can now decide which Big Data Processing is necessary based on your data resources, tools, and goal. When all these steps are fulfilled, you are ready to install the configuration and also for testing.
In conclusion, big data is there to help you. It is a resource you can explore to make the most out of your business. However, you need to decide on what's important and once processed, big data will provide you insight on what to do next.