What is Big Data

Big Data as the name suggests is quite simply an absurdly huge amount of data. But a more accurate description is: Big Data is a combination of all the processes and tools related to utilizing and managing large data sets.

Additionally, You must know the 5 ‘V’s of Big Data to understand it better:

Volume – The amount of data that is created and stored
Velocity – The speed at which data is created, stored and analyzed
Variety – The different types of data. Namely – structured, semi-structured and unstructured data
Value – The ability to interpret and turn data into useful tangible insights
Veracity – Authenticity of data in terms of quality and accuracy

Sources of Big Data
Technology allows us to collect data at an incredibly rapid rate both in terms of the volume of data collected and the variety of data collected. The main sources of Big Data are:

1) Machine Data
Sensors are a great source of Big Data. The use of sensors is prevalent in almost all of the modern devices we use today. These sensors generate vast amounts of data that when analyzed and correctly interpreted give businesses a critical edge over their competitors. Machine data is expected to grow exponentially as devices that use the internet of things grow ever more pervasive and expands around the world. Sensors that are present in medical devices, smart meters, road cameras, satellites, games and the rapidly growing Internet Of Things all deliver high velocity, value, volume and variety of data.

2) Social data
One of the biggest sources is social media as our images, videos, messages, chats, tweets, posts, status are all sources of Big Data. This kind of data provides valuable insights into consumer behavior and sentiment and can be enormously influential in marketing analytics. The worldwide web is also an excellent source of social data, and tools like Google Trends can be used to good effect to increase the volume of big data and analyze key trends within it.

3)Transactional data
Data generated from all the transactions we make such as from our surveys, from credit cards or debit cards all are collectively called big data. Invoices, storage records, payment orders, delivery receipts – are all examples of transactional data.

Why is Big Data Important
The importance of Big Data does not necessarily depend upon its volume, rather it depends upon how it is interpreted and manipulated to gain a better understanding of consumer behavior and key trends.

You can take Big Data from any source and analyze it to find answers that enable:
1) Cost reductions

2) Time reductions

3) New product development and optimized offerings

4) Smart decision making

Businesses can harness data to make decisions about:
1) Finding new customers

2) Increasing customer retention

3) Improving customer service

4) Better managing marketing efforts

5) Tracking social media interaction

6) Predicting sales trends

When you combine Big Data with high-powered analytics software that can correctly interpret and analyze it, you can accomplish business-related tasks such as:
1) Determining root causes of failures, issues and defects in near-real-time.

2) Generating coupons at the point of sale based on the customer’s buying habits.

3) Recalculating entire risk portfolios in minutes.

4) Distinguishing fraudulent behavior before it affects your organization

How Big Data can help businesses
The way Big Data helps businesses is dependent on the way it is used. The way the data is analyzed to gain insights about the trends and patterns in their product or service. This allows the management to learn about consumer behavior, their pattern of purchasing and the internal structure of the organization and which areas need to be focused on. By studying and implementing this data, businesses can derive key insights and take appropriate actions to improve their business.

1. Derive Better Customer Insights
Businesses can utilize big data to analyze and segment crucial information about their leads, target audience and customers.

2. Execute Goal-Oriented Activities
Adjusting according to customer behavior allows businesses to frame specific initiatives to either get them to buy something, provide limited-time offers or targeted benefits to get them to remain as loyal customers.

3. Improve Logistics
Customers, today, expect to have their demands met in a matter of seconds. This requires good customer support, quick delivery, easy payment options and decent return/refund policies. All these factors are vital for the success of any business.

4 Launch New Product In A Shorter Span Of Time
Small or Medium businesses usually do not have the bandwidth to create and release new products. But with Big Data they can improve their current products or relaunch popular products to match customer expectations in a relatively short span of time.

5. Secure Backup And Storage For Your Files Through Cloud Storage
The use of cloud storage is considered to be essential for businesses today. No matter what, all the important data about your business that are related to products, transactions, and customers can be kept safe without any risk of displacement. Even when you need to access these files for reference, they can be easily accessed.