Undoubtedly, data is something organizations cannot ignore, and the actionable insights that big data provides are too valuable to set aside. But what is big data, and is it reserved only for big businesses?
What is big data?
Big data refers to large, complex volumes of information, structured and unstructured, which businesses accumulate daily. It is valuable to an organization because of what they can do with it. Organizations can analyze the data for business insights to help improve their decision-making and give them the confidence to make strategic moves to gain business advantage.
Big data is often associated with unstructured data — the raw data from other sources that you cannot quantify. The information is complex and difficult to process using traditional means. Because you cannot place unstructured data into rows and columns, it needs a data management platform that can organize it properly for easier access.
You can divide the definition of big data into three things:
- Volume. Data from various sources, such as transactions, IoT devices, social media, images, videos, audio, industrial equipment, and more.
- Variety. Data in several formats, from traditional databases containing numeric and structured data to unstructured text like financial transactions, stock ticker data, email, documents, etc.
- Velocity. Streams of data from IoT devices that need real-time reactions. For example, there should be an immediate response to smart meters, sensors, and RFID tags.
Importance of big data
Businesses, large and small, should know how to use data effectively. Organizations will find valuable answers through careful analysis to streamline resource management, optimize product development, improve operational efficiencies, enable more thoughtful decision-making, and boost new growth and revenue opportunities.
Harnessing the power of big data
Using big data can change how your business performs despite its size. The key is to implement it correctly. Knowing where you want to take your business and using tools to help in data analytics will be crucial in using big data’s power. Here are things you can do:
- Know the information you need. You will successfully implement big data if you have a definite plan and clearly defined business goals. If you do not have a team, outsource the project and work with their team closely.
- Invest in a trusted tech platform. It is worth investing in a tech platform that will help you analyze volumes of data and extract valuable insights. Have a roadmap and use it as your guide to achieving your goals.
- Make information collection, storage, and analysis an integral part of your business processes.
- Make a corporate cultural shift to ensure that your team is equipped to employ data in their decision-making. The transition will take time, so see to it that everyone understands that it involves changing their work processes and developing new business rules.
- Use both quantitative and qualitative data inputs. Of course, you already know that structured data is quantifiable, but you will gain more information from the qualitative information that unstructured data offers.