In this article, we will take an overview of Big Data concept.
When a kid has written A on paper and then wrote B, it is bound to be C the next character to be written by kid. This predictiveness came from the pattern of A & B happening in timeline. Now, consider A as some terabytes of data and B as another terabytes of data, you put your analytics cap on head and then predict C. This is a Big Data analogy.
Below is just a revision of our knowledge on data storage capacity –
1 Bit = Binary Digit
8 Bits = 1 Byte
1024 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
(in simple form, 1 Terabyte = approx 1 trillion bytes of data, that can hold 1000 copies of The Encyclopedia Britannica. That is huge data, is what if you are thinking, then you are wrong. That is just beginning point of Big Data)
We are leaving ‘digital footprint’ everywhere – be it just website visit, credit card details while shopping, ebooks we read, comments on social media, tweets you made, photos uploaded by you, videos watched by you. All of this is leaving traces for someone to analyze to serve you better the next time.
The name Big Data comes from this fact that there is humongous size of data, that businesses want to analyze to predict customer behaviour pattern, so that customers’ future needs are handled so well, making customers happy and in turn bringing more business.
Now that we got the concept of Big Data, let’s try to revisit and structure this piece.
Dgitial footprints that we create can be categorized as below :
Activity Data – When we are listening to music, our digital music player records this activity. When we read ebook, our ebook reader is tracking this activity. When we use smartphone to search something on internet, it is recording browsing activity. When we are shopping online or offline, credit card transaction is noted down.
Conversation Data – Every email that we send is available with email service provider. Our phone calls are recorded by telecom service provider. Facebook, twitter and whatsapp are such social media platforms that everything read and wrote there is giving a pulse of society we live in and that too in real time. No wonder, messages go viral so quickly these days.
Photo and Video Data – Hundreds of Thousands of images flashed by mobile phone cameras and digital cameras are getting uploaded on internet and videos too. CCTV recordings are available from every nook and corner of the world.
Sensor Data – Be it a traffic sensor or GPS sensor in your smart phone, there are sensors installed everywhere to generate vital data for analysis.
This data growth challenges can be characterized by 3 Vs – increasing Volume (amount of data), Velocity (speed at which data is inserted into and taken out of system) and Variety (of data sources and range of data types).
Whole point is to analyze this Big Data into a predictive and meaningful decision. Technology such as cloud computing and analytical software are doing so.
Big Data can be used in many ways to better our lives. Some examples are as below –
Smart Cities – Real time traffic analysis and weather reports will bring in predictiveness in your daily commute. Days are not far, when your daily alarm buzzes 15 minutes earlier than ususal because there is unusual traffic blockage around the corner of your building, so that you reach on scheduled time.
Law enforcement and security – Police forces are using big data analytics to predict criminal activites, cyber attacks, online frauds and to prevent terrorist attacks.
Healthcare – Understand diseases pattern and take preventive actions. Use and analyze wearable devices data (heartbeat, steps walked in a day) to link your lifestyle and diseases. Monitor and predict epidemics.
Improve Business porcesses – Retailers can optimize their stocks based on predictive models of social media trends.
Know your customer better – internet browsing history, text analytics, social media updates give good knowledge of your customers, so that you can customize your product or offerings as per their needs.
No wonder Big Data is the way forward for better human life.
In this article, we took overview of Big Data concept.
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