What is Big Data, and How is it Transforming Industries?

Jun 7, 2021

6 Min Read

In a world that is increasingly dependent on data, technologies like big data have become a core component for organizations to gain a competitive advantage. Proper leveraging of data ensures organizations achieve insights from the data for business efficiency. Still, wondering about the hype of big data? Before we proceed, let’s have a look at the rapid generation of data today. The report by Towards Data Science states that the generation of data daily is 2.5 billion bytes, and the projections are 133 zettabytes of data generation by 2025. With such staggering numbers, you can gather some ideas about why these new technologies play a crucial role in handling large volumes of data.

Big data is a term used for describing a large volume of data that can be in either structured or unstructured form and is exponentially increasing with time. When the data size is so voluminous and complex, it is impossible to manage and process them with traditional approaches. Therefore, the process of accessing and storing such a large amount of data and information using advanced analytical techniques is known as big data analytics. Big data is characterized by the three V’s that signify: volume, velocity, and variety. Now that you have an introduction to big data, let’s dive further to understand how big data is transforming industries.

History of Big Data

The act of processing data to extract information has been around us for a long time. But the concept of big data gained prominence in the early 2000s that defined big data with the three V’s. Around the year 2005, the importance of data came into the limelight as millions of data we’re generating through social platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and other sources. The advent of technologies like Hadoop came into existence along with NoSQL. The use of Hadoop and recent technologies like Spark has been crucial for big data gaining popularity. Big data has skyrocketed in the industry to store large data volumes at a cheaper cost. The scope of big data has widened with new technologies like the internet of things and cloud computing being the future of technology.

Volume

The data is generated from multiple resources that include financial transactions, smart device logs, industrial equipment, social media, healthcare records, to name a few. Such humongous data faces the problem of storage using traditional methods. However, newer technologies like data lakes and Hadoop have made it a possibility.

Velocity

Velocity is the rate of generation of data and the speed at which the data is created, and the amount of time needed to analyze it. With the use of new technologies, it becomes essential for an organization to have the capacity to harness this data in real-time. This allows us to achieve faster decision-making.

Variety

A significant percentage of all big data is in unstructured form. Due to this factor, it can not fit easily into a traditional model. From numeric data to unstructured text documents and emails, videos, and even financial transactions must be analyzed. With a wide variety of data being generated, the need for big data has become increasingly important.

Importance of Big Data

The importance of big data has not remained within the data storage requirements of an organization but contributes to utilizing the data collected from all the sources. The efficient utilization of data contributes to business growth and the overall smooth functioning of an organization.

Reduced Cost

Big data tools like Hadoop, data lakes, and cloud-based analytics have significantly contributed to cost reduction in storage while directing the workflow with the data’s insights.

Faster Processing

Big data techniques and tools can identify the source of data and provision of data at their fingertips. This ensures faster accessibility of data to help businesses focus on decision-making and gaining a competitive advantage.

Analyzing Market Conditions

As organizations have the complete accessibility of large data volumes, the proper analysis of data can provide better market conditions based on which the organizations can make their strategic decisions.

Customer Retention and Acquisition

With big data analytics, businesses look to move ahead of the competition with a strong customer base. However, it is not easy to do so. To have a strong customer base and loyalty, the businesses need to quickly understand the market trend and the customers’ needs as per the market conditions. Big data analytics ensures that the company can understand what the customers are looking for and dive into capturing that particular segment of the market with better offerings. The factors like purchasing behavior and search patterns are vital indicators to identify customer needs. It is achievable with proper analytical support.

Innovations

The possibility to gain competitive advantages in the market enables an organization to innovate and redevelop its offerings and the product line as per market trends.

How is Big Data Transforming the Industries?

Big Data in Education

Do you wonder what could be the possible contribution of big data in education? The education sector is among the ones that have been transformed with next-generation technologies. Among them is big data, which has contributed significantly.

a)     To gain insights into student performance and their response times.

b)     Statistical insights into the grades of students.

c)     Focusing on reducing the counts of dropouts by providing personalized attention to manage the difficulties of students.

d)     Provide a large repository to students as big data can store huge volumes of data.

e)     Customized programs.

Big Data in Insurance

a)     Collection of information about customers’ history to determine the eligibility of insurance.

b)     Gain a deeper understanding of customer experience and how the insurance companies can offer value-added services to gain a larger customer base.

c)     Insurance-related frauds have increased over the years. Big data can monitor these frauds using analytics and track the lineage of data to determine any fraudulent activities.

Big Data in Government

In the government sector, the amount of data that is generated is increasing at an alarming rate. With manual procedures still the go-to option, several procedures are lagging and causing delays. The most crucial factor to be kept in mind is the appropriate use of data such that the government bodies can provide better services to citizens without the everyday hassles that are faced in recent times. For example, the welfare schemes can be monitored in advance, and appropriate measures can be taken for effective governance.

Big Data in Banking

Banking is one of the primary sectors that can benefit from the use of big data. With millions of customer records, the traditional banking system has struggled as there is numerous misuse of credit cards, money laundering, and customer data hacking. Big data can provide crucial support for monitoring and keeping customer records safe. The faster analytical support from the use of big data can provide meaningful insights of information on customer satisfaction, eliminate the risk of money laundering, venture capital risk analysis, and track any unauthorized usage of data by thorough analysis.

Big Data in Healthcare

Healthcare data is among the most rapidly generating data. Adopting big data can help pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, and healthcare management provide efficient solutions for a satisfactory patient experience, critical insights of diseases, patterns of the patients’ health, and useful drug discovery assistance.

Big Data in Agriculture

Big data can help monitor and identify the crop yields, seeds engineering requirements, tackling the region’s agricultural requirements and the country, and focusing on global nutrition requirements, among several other possibilities.

Big Data in Entertainment

The growing online entertainment platforms have already applied big data solutions in their operations, and the results have been successful. Companies like Netflix and Hulu are streaming services that have transformed their business to study customer usage patterns, preferred rental plans, regions, and country-based viewing. Netflix uses data on graphics and titles, and colors to make decisions on customer preference.

The contribution of big data doesn’t end with these industries. Several other sectors, such as sports, hospitality industries, the energy industry, and transportation and logistics, have gained from the implication of big data.

Big data is more than hype. Companies benefit from the real-time tracking of data and its analysis that ensure quicker innovation business cycles and better decision making. Those who are debating about the possible advantages and disadvantages of the technology are losing ground. The early adopters of the technology have surpassed the competitors and among the top in its business line. Every new technology has its challenges, and with the era of digitization, the proper use of technology can likely be a boon for industries and people alike.

As continuous refinement and evolution are critical factors for a business to thrive in the competitive market, it is evident that big data will continue to contribute towards the evolution of businesses in the upcoming years.

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