Data, in general, may seem a very abstract concept. And Big Data is probably even more complicated to understand. It is clear and indefinite at the same time. These two words are used in many cases and contexts and may be somewhat confusing. Big Data has been talked about a lot for a few years so why is this idea gaining such popularity nowadays? Why are even more companies integrating systems and programs for processing large amounts of information and transforming raw data into valuable information? How can mobile or web applications development serve for decision-making purposes?
In this article we will go through the definition of Big Data, explain what it is, and give you some examples of how certain businesses can benefit from implementing Big Data software solutions.
Big Data is not just about data. It is about huge amounts of information being produced every second. It is complex, raw, and usually unsorted. However, we must deal with it, as is can be extremely useful and bring many benefits including business processes automation and a lot more.
Big Data processing solutions help discern patterns that are imperceptible to people and even basic software. Thus it allows to optimize workflow in various fields such as healthcare, education, finance, security, banking, insurance, logistics etc.
Definition of Big Data
Oftentimes, the concept of Big Data is misinterpreted, misunderstood and misused. Let’s resolve the question of what we should call Big Data and what we should not.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, today Big Data ‘can refer to large data sets or to systems and solutions developed to manage such large accumulations of data, as well as for the branch of computing devoted to this development’. This is a complex definition so we will try to provide you with a clear picture by explaining it in more details and using various examples throughout the article.
Although the conceptions of Big Data and IT are related, they are not that close. Big Data is not only about Information Technology. It’s not exactly a branch of IT, although Big Data would be impossible without Information Technology today.
Some cases are referred to as Big Data processing, although they have almost nothing in common. Here is an example.
You have a food delivery service with thousands of clients in your city. Your CRM system can collect the information on each of your clients’ orders such as order time, delivery address, price etc. The system can analyze this amount of data on each client and in a few weeks sends them the right offers at the right time. Also it can collect data and produce a certain process as a result. Is this an example of Big Data processing in action? No. It’s just analytics, business intelligence and marketing.
So what would be Big Data software solutions? If we add to all this information obtained from CRM the data from each user’s social media accounts in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., determine that he/she has announced a party on Twitter and posted a photo of a swimming pool on Instagram, and decide to send an offer of various kinds of party pizzas on the right time, this can be referred to as Big Data processing.
Processing already structured information is not exactly Big Data. However, if the technology analyses unstructured raw data and seeks hidden patterns (such as a photo of a swimming pool on Instagram and a party announcement on Twitter), it must be called Big Data technology.
So, there are three major concepts essential to Big Data:
Big Data is the compound of these three elements and cannot exist without the present of each one of these constituents. Big Data is not just information that must be somehow collected. It also must be analysed in order to draw regularities and patterns. And you can’t analyse vast amounts of information without using technology. If you have software and analytics but can’t collect the data and process raw and unstructured ones – it’s not good either, obviously. So where can Big Data software solutions be found?
Sources of Big Data
Data is everywhere around us. However, it must be collected in some way and from various sources. The main ones are almost everything that is digital. These can be documents, digital archives, reports, media such as audio, video and images, social media accounts, applications, public web, data obtained from wearable devices, security cameras, and various sensors and a lot more.
Uses of Big Data software solutions
Big Data is essential to many popular and progressive tech products. Let’s talk about self-driving cars. When you drive yourself, you have to notice and keep in mind a lot of information and many details concerning the situation around you and your car. You often make decisions you are not even fully aware of. Self-driving cars have to do the same thing every moment, basically constantly. They have to collect and analyse the vast amount of information, just as your brain does, or maybe even more.
Now let’s move to banking and finance. When a bank is going to give a credit to a certain person, it must be sure that this person is able to give the money back. It can be really useful to analyse all data available to make the right decision. That is, analyzing data from social media and public web along with conventional documents and sources that can prove the client’s ability to pay off the debt. Thus, you can choose, for example, web or mobile applications development for processing large amounts of data to automate and enhance decision-making process.
The same can be said about the healthcare field. Making a diagnosis requires great knowledge and responsibility of the doctor. Using Big Data and analyzing such information as sensor data in the patient’s house, which places he has visited and what people met increases the chances to make the right decision.
Big Data is a truly revolutionary field in science and technology that brings and surely will bring many benefits to the humanity, help optimize various processes and make the right decisions.
Our mobile and web applications development team at Smartum Pro delivers Big Data solutions to automate business processes, simplify and improve decision-making and more. We are always ready to provide you with meaningful recommendations, for example, of integration Big Data software solutions with the existing ones.
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