Big data is the ocean of information we swim in every day – massive zettabytes of data flowing from our computers, mobile devices and machine sensors. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the very diversity of the uses of big data and how it is already changing people’s everyday world.
Many people see big data through the lens of the Internet economy, since Google and Facebook have so much data. But that misses the point: big data is everywhere.
Big data applications enhance user experience: They are beginning to enhance user experience by predicting what actions a user would prefer next, a concept derived from the need for increasingly dynamic web-based applications.
Internet of Things and its widespread usage: Requirements are pushed further by the wide adoption of mobile technologies and the emergence of the IoT. The Internet giants of today (Amazon, Facebook, Google, Yahoo) are all massive big data consumers. Some even describe Google as perpetually futuristic, relative to everyone else.
Google uses accumulated data to develop models: Google Trends is probably the most approachable method of using big data. Google uses its treasure trove of accumulated data to develop models that learn from users and offer more relevant search results.
Big data helps manage unstructured data: Big data analytics also brings unstructured data into the fold, information gleaned from social media feeds, blogs, videos and other sources. Sorting through this information would have helped the airline answer a big-picture question that companies have struggled for decades to answer: How do we treat all of our customers like rock stars?
Hadoop helps big data to construct predictive models: Consumer-facing websites, from online banking to e-commerce, use data collected in systems like Hadoop in order to construct predictive models that help business understand how a user will behave in response to a specific offer or content. Because these models rely heavily on massive amounts of data, these new enhanced applications can be dubbed big data applications.
Data can only suggest trends, validate claims and reduce the amount of human error in decision-making processes. But, let’s face it. It’s still the human decisions and human strategies that turn the wheel.
When it comes to managing data, don't look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems. Technologies like NoSQL, MPP databases and Hadoop have emerged to address big data challenges and to enable new types of products and services to be delivered by the business.
Big data is transforming how we understand the world, do business and implement public policy. As more companies realize the worth of implementing big data strategies, more services will emerge to support them.
Big data will forge the last links of the value chain that will help companies drive more operational efficiencies from existing investments. The bottom line is: Big data is big. It is here to stay. And it’s only getting bigger.