The Vs behind Big Data
Big Data has become the buzz word of the IT sector and beyond for the last few years. Supposedly all the Data ever made in the world is going to double within 2 years from now. That’s all the data the human race has made in its existence will x2. That is a crazy forecast right there folks. It is an absolute phenomenon and is going to change the business world and possibly the whole world as we know it.
Companies can collect what seems like an infinite amount of it. The challenge is that much of that information remains underutilized. Data can be structures or unstructured. Big Data analytics has the ability of extracting important information from these unstructured datasets/streams of data which were previously almost impossible to extract from due to its complexity and volume.
There is a lot of articles and visualisations on the 4 Vs of Big Data.
We are going to talk about these and even add some more Vs for good measure.
90% of the world’s data has been made in the last two years. The daily amount accumulated by a company presents immediate challenges. Big Data technology allows us to deal with these data sets with the help of distributed systems which can help spread the load throughout different data warehouses and can be accessed via data analytical software.
This refers to the speed at which this new data is generated and how quickly it moves around. The speed at which credit card transactions are checked for fraudulent activities, Traffic flow sensors, satellite imagery, broadcast audio streams and financial market data are all examples of data that is generated at a huge pace that needs to be extract and analysed immediately by Big Data analytical software.
This refers to different types of data that is being created which we can collect and use. Data can come in different formats including structured and unstructured. Structured data fits neatly in to tables or ERDs e.g. financial data. Unstructured is a different matter altogether especially which rise of social media. Photos, videos, text, click streams have all added to the fact that 80%-85% of the world’s data is unstructured. Big Data technology is starting to find ways to harness this data and make them become more structured.
There is uncertainty around data due to its often inconsistent nature. This is a huge challenge for Big Data technology. Have you ever seen those Facebook posts where people type how they speak? … hmm. Hashtags and abbreviations are other examples but volume often makes up for lack of quality and Big Data analytics is starting to solve this problem.
Let’s add another V in here to spice things up a bit …
We can have all this volume, velocity and more data than you can throw a stick at but unless we can make good use of it then it is quite useless. Business can jump on the ‘Big Data’ bandwagon and have senior management running around the office shouting ‘Data Warehouse’ and ‘Hadoop’ all day but Business need to have a clear understanding of big data. They need to put it to good use to try and use data mining analytics to extract valuable business information embedded in structured, unstructured, streaming data and data warehouses.
So there it is. The potential of Big Data is… Big … VERY BIG!
Effectively controlling it is a huge recipe for success for any innovative business.