People say that knowledge is the most important resource of all. Well, three decades back, the biggest source of knowledge was books. However, the advent of the Internet era changed a lot of things. Almost every single piece of information that you wish to see is available at your fingertips, within a few seconds. All of this is possible due to Big Data analytics.
Big Data is the term used for a collection of the vast amount of data for processing, analyzing and predicting future outcomes for a particular action. In simpler terms, when you type ‘Cricket’ in the Google search bar, you will see several million results in front of your eyes ready for access within a few microseconds.
Let us now discuss the most important things you need to know about the concept;
Use of Big Data
Almost every business/industry uses Big Data on a regular basis. However, all these companies do not use the technology in the same way. Some examples of the usage include;
- Automotive Industry – The automotive sector consists of millions of vehicles today. The major use of Big Data in the automotive industry is to define routes and paths for vehicles using the GPS (Global Positioning Satellites). Google Maps are a wonderful example of the technology used in the automotive industry. Using live traffic camera images, satellite images, data from smart vehicles and location data of people, Google can collate the data to provide you real-time traffic updates on a particular highway/road.
- Production/Manufacturing Industries – The technology is used to solve optimization problems in the manufacturing industries. It is possible for a company or a production plant to forecast sales projections and figure out the best means of manufacture and utilization of raw materials and other resources using the IoT and Big Data analytics. The technology is also used to create feedback loops from the information collected from automated machines which are further used to manage time and costs.
- IT Industries – IT industries are the major players in the usage game. Several applications and software collect relevant data from your smart devices like location, identity, contacts, etc. to create a large server of data.
- Sports and Entertainment Sectors – People collect huge chunks of data in every single game of cricket or an F1 race. Management of teams, as well as the sports associations, use this data to keep track of the history of each player/team within the sport. The entertainment sector collects and analyses a large amount of data before producing a movie/show to forecast the collections by the sale of tickets.
- Governmental Organizations – Several governmental organizations like banks, courts, etc. collect a vast amount of data to help serve the public better. The government often collects data to keep track of the country’s citizens and their progress.
Facts about Big Data
You should know the following facts about the data technology.
- The Big Data collection is growing at an exponential rate.
- The government uses Big Data in crisis management as well as the growth of industrial sectors. It is also used to understand the human brain and design automated equipment and AI that will eventually help in speeding up the progress.
- Big Data is all about making sense of large data structures without compromising the integrity of the knowledge tree. It is not particularly related to the storage of data.
- Every one of us who use the Internet and other smart devices, contribute to the technology in one way or the other.
Myths Regarding Big Data
Since Big Data is the talk of the decade, it is important to clarify these myths regarding Big Data.
- Big Data is necessarily a complicated data structure: It is a simple concept, and every person can use it to his/her benefits using the proper tools/education.
- The use of Big Data is very expensive: You can use it free of cost at several places with the right equipment. As mentioned earlier, we all contribute to Big Data in one way or the other.
- Only large companies require Big Data: Every big or small company requires access to analyzed data to establish and grow its business in the existing market.
- It is difficult to access Big Data: You can access the technology using models like Hadoop and MapReduce. Several institutes provide formal training in using these models. In fact, Big Data analytics is recognized as a full-time profession in the IT industry now.
Since the scope of Big Data is virtually limitless, it is hard to confine it for good uses. Just like every leading technology this too has a flip side. Several people in the world know how to manipulate it for personal gains. Your security and identity could be at risk if the data that you use or agree to share with are not managed and configured wisely. For example, it is easy for someone to track your real-time location using an app on your smartphone if you give it the access. Big Data analytics also pose a little threat to the employment of several people around the world in the field of data analytics.
Big Data is the next big thing provided it is used wisely to reap the benefits. Use it in the wrong way, and you can suffer huge financial/informational loss. It is always said that, “With great power comes great responsibility.”