What is Big Data?
The terms Big Data is data, massive amounts of data. On a day-to-day basis, huge amounts of data is being gathered. This term is often used when speaking about the pet bytes and Exabyte of data.
Since the invention of computer, the term data has been used to refer to information that was either transmitted or stored. Big data is explained and handled with a 3V model: Volume, Velocity, and Variety.
- Volume: Big Data Volume refers to the amount of data that is being generated.
- Velocity: Big Data Velocity deals with the speed at which data flows in from sources.
- Variety: Big Data Variety deals with the different types of data that is being gathered and used.
Everything we do in our lives leaves a trail of data that enterprises could use. The simple act of having phones in our pockets generates huge amount of data, from where we are, what we’re looking at, what we’re browsing. All the applications that we have on our smartphones generates data through chats, the search engines, etc. All of this, gives us a huge volumes of data, and with those data comes huge business opportunities. However, it is not the amount of data that is important, it is what organizations are able to do with it is what actually matters.
More data does not allow us to see more, it allows us to see new, to see better, and to see different.
Why does Big Data matter?
For enterprises around the world, data can play a very important role in delivering faster insights that will help in making more informed decisions in real time for less expense than traditional data analysis tools. With the right data management and analytics systems in place, companies can gather seemingly unstructured information and translate it into actionable insights.
Using Big Data is necessary for companies who want to outperform their competitors in the market. In many industries, Big Data has been used to compete and innovate. As a matter of fact, examples of its usage can be found in nearly every sector, from Business to healthcare.
Why is Big Data important to businesses?
“Without big data analytics, companies are blind and deaf, wandering out onto the web like deer on a freeway.” - Geoffrey Moore
Big Data opens new doors for businesses:
Big Data helps enterprises to forge new opportunities of growth and success. It can also play a role in establishing new categories of companies. Because, thanks to data, business owners, will have insights about the market and its needs. Therefore, they will be able to know what type of company, if established, will succeed. And also using data, these companies will have substantial amount of data about everything that will help them succeed. Big Data offers information about products, buyers, suppliers, consumer preferences, etc.
Big Data helps businesses in understanding and targeting customers:
When it comes to understanding customers, data is very crucial. This is one of the most important usages of Big Data in business nowadays. Here, it is used to give businesses insights about the customers. This helps companies to understand their customers, with their behaviors and preferences. For companies, all of one’s behaviors and preferences are data that is being collected, analyzed, and used for the objective of creating predictive models.
A company such as Amazon,
for example, uses Big Data. Amazon uses Big Data gathered from customers while they browse to build and fine-tune its recommendation engine. The more Amazon knows about its customer, the better it can predict what they want to buy. It knows what they have purchased in the past and therefore, it makes predictions of what they are likely to purchase in the future. And, once the retailer knows what a customer might want, it starts a process of persuading them into buying it.
Another example of companies that use Big Data in understanding its customers is Netflix.
A quick glance at Netflix's jobs page is enough to give an idea of how seriously data and analytics are taken. Netflix uses your data –all of it- it knows your search history, the time you watch movies, how much time is spent selecting a movie or a show to watch, and of course, your likes and dislikes. All of these, for Netflix, is data that is analyzed and stored and depending on that, it becomes able to recommend you different stuff that you might be interested in.
Big Data helps in a better understanding of the Business Process:
Just like it is used to understand customers better, Big Data can also be used to help in understanding the business process better. Using big data analytics, retailers can be able to fill their stocks based on the predictions made based on the data collected from social media, web searches, etc. Supply chains or delivery route optimization is one of the business process that does need the help and the insights that the data analysis offer. This is because these processes use geographical positioning to track the goods or the delivery vehicles and it also can, based on data from live traffic, predict better and faster routes.
- Big Data opens new doors for businesses:
Why is Big Data important for the healthcare sector?
Big Data helps in making a change even outside of business; it is used in different sectors such as the healthcare sector.
The health care industry has lagged behind other industries in the use of big data. This was because of the resistance of change.
As healthcare providers were accustomed to making their treatment decisions independently; using their own experiences and their own medical judgments, rather than using the data provided by big data.
But since the beginning if its usage in the healthcare systems and data has redefined the way by which healthcare is being delivered. It is not that the existing healthcare system is being discarded but certain significant changes are taking place at fundamental levels.
Big Data is used in improving healthcare system and public health. Data-driven medicine involves the analysis of vast numbers of medical records and images to generate patterns which could be used to help spotting disease early and develop new medicines.
The usage of data in medicine has made it possible for doctors to understand diseases and therefore predict them. This happens after a patient has been treated; the healthcare provider is now able to obtain huge amount of data about the patient and his/her disease which will make it possible to predict recurrences of diseases.
Big Data techniques also is being used in monitoring babies in a specialist premature and sick baby unit. By recording and analyzing the heartbeats and the breathing patterns of babies, the unit was able to generate algorithms that allowed them to predict infections 24h before any physical symptoms appear. As a consequence, the unit’s team was able to interfere early and save these babies’ lives.
It could also be used for more accurate treatments. Information gathered from big data gives healthcare providers better insights than the ones they would have without it. Collecting data allows for better decisions, fewer cases of guessing, and overall better care for the patient.
Apple, Android, and other companies implement software into their devices to help people with diabetes. Not just that, to help with the Covid-19 global crises, earlier this year, Apple has also added “Exposure Notification” to its phones. This feature uses Bluetooth technology, and it can detect when two smartphones come within two meters of each other. If one of those people later tests positive for the virus, notifications will be sent to everyone they came into contact with.