What is Big Data?

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big data Definition

The Definition

Thanks to technological advances, we can now mine, organize, and analyze more data than ever before. Data can help all kinds of industries, from retail to marketing to finance.

Before you understand how your business can use data, you first need to understand some basic data terms, one of which is big data. What is big data? How can it help your organization grow?

Keep reading to learn about big data.

What is Big Data?

Big data is a term used to describe large volumes of diverse, complex, and fast-changing data. When describing big data, experts typically use the three V’s: variety, velocity, and volume.

Volume refers to the sheer amount of data you need to process. Big data involves working with large quantities of information. Typically, this information is unstructured and comes in massive chunks. This differs from small data, which is more precise and delivered in bite-sized metrics.

Variety refers to how many data types you’re looking at. For example, big data might refer to the total number of visitors that come to your website.

Velocity refers to how fast the data is acquired. Typically, big data involves mining huge chunks of information and analyzing it in periodic batches. Because big data involves a large amount of information, you typically can’t enter it into reports in real-time.

This differs from small data, which can be processed quickly and allows for real-time access to information. You can check out this site to find out more about how big data works.

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What are the Types of Big Data?

Big data falls into three categories: structured, unstructured, and semi-structured.

Structured data refers to any type of data that can be stored, processed, and accessed in a fixed format. An example of structured data would be information stored in database software.

There is also unstructured data, which is massive and difficult to derive value out of. Unstructured data can contain a mix of images, videos, and text files.

Semi-structured data contains both structured and unstructured data. Semi-structured data has organizational properties, but it doesn’t exist in a traditional database format. Data stored in an XML file would be an example of semi-structured data.

Why is Big Data Useful?

As we mentioned earlier, big data can help a variety of organizations. Big data can help:

  • Determine user behavior
  • Extract valuable insights that can be transformed into business strategies
  • Improve operational efficiency by collecting large amounts of useful customer data
  • Control and monitor your online reputation
  • Focus on local preferences (especially helpful if you’re a small business)

Big data can also help you hire the right employees, compete with big businesses, and increase your sales and customer loyalty. There really is no limit to the ways big data can help your organization.

Are You Ready to Use Big Data?

Now that you know a bit more about big data, it’s time to figure out how your organization will take steps to make use of big data.

Of course, big data is only one aspect of improving your business. For more ideas on how to improve your business, check out our blog.

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