In the modern business world, Big Data continues to be a topic of much interest and discussion. The firms that have pioneered methods to analyze Big Data, and integrate it with conventional data are finding that the advantages are pretty real.
We live in a digitalized world today. With more and more digitization, the quantity of structured and unstructured data that is being created and stored is exploding. Big Data includes the information garnered through different sources such as blogs, digital images, audio files, videos, click streams, emails, sensors and customer transactions. These concern different industries including utilities, healthcare, energy, retail, automotive, transport, and hospitality among others. The data from these sources can offer answers to questions that they may not even have expected to be answered by them. In addition to this, the businesses concerned may gain from a multi-dimensional view of their activities when the traditional types of information collected and analyzed by them are supplemented by insights from Big Data.
As an example, an e-commerce store selling different types of cooking appliances and crockery can use Big Data to comprehend the activities of visitors on its website – such as the paths followed to navigate through the site, the pages and product descriptions checked, the reviews and comments posted. Such knowledge can be combined with the customer’s actual purchasing history and kept in corporate relational database. From this the concerned organization gets a clearer understanding of its customers and can fine tune its offers to target their requirements and preferences.
The fact that Big Data when analyzed properly, can offer a wealth of information to redefine or adjust business strategies is understood by many. However, it is the volume of Big Data sets that is becoming too complex to be managed and processed using conventional relational database and data warehousing technologies. Big Data has huge volume, variety and velocity. Using simple or conventional methods for its storage and analysis is not very efficient as the memory access gets slower. Even the collection of data becomes challenging as the volume and variety of data has to be obtained from different types of sources. Another challenge in using the current techniques is that they need sophisticated hardware to handle the data with so much of volume, velocity and a broad range.
To use information from Big Data and derive meaningful analytics out of them, it is necessary to load the information into sophisticated solutions customized for this concept. Big Data consulting firms help their clients in employing tools like Key Value stores (Cassandra, Redis), Graph databases (Neo4j, Graph DB) and a number of other solutions to harness the true power of Big Data. These technologies are tailored for Big Data and enable organizations to get their arms around vast quantities of unstructured data, making the prospect of gaining insight both realistic and cost efficient.
It should also be remembered that effectively managing vast quantities of data through specialized tools is only half the battle won. Business organizations that wish to benefit more from Big Data should also integrate the new types of information with conventional corporate data, and fit-in the insight they collect into their current business activities and operations.
With a 360-degree view of their business, companies have the insight they need to enhance processes and gain a competitive edge. This insight has propositions that go far beyond technology to organizational structures, hierarchies, and a company’s capability to modify, however, so enterprises are advised to adopt a phased approach to leveraging Big Data.
Beginning with their pilot projects and building on the success of other ventures will help companies to realize the advantages of leveraging Big Data with minimal disruption to the business processes.
By geraldfriedrich2 from Pixabay