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Big Data Explained: The Whats and Hows That Matter

Big Data Courses

If we just stop to take a count, there are millions of photographs, tweets, and documents being uploaded on the Internet every day. This massive and ever-expanding collection is comprised of everything from our classified documents to family photographs and social media activities. All of this material is collectively known as Big Data.

It is not wrong to say that the world is turning into a large digital space. Today we are all managing, sharing, and storing our lives on the Internet. From browsing to working online and uploading projects, we continuously pile data on the Internet. Today’s hardware is largely restricted to smartphones and computers, but in the near future will probably expand to televisions, watches, refrigerators, and everything electronic that we use on a daily basis. Big Data includes both structured and unstructured data.

Big Data can be collectively analyzed to develop insights that will lead to better decisions and strategies in business, politics, and research. Barack Obama’s administration in 2012 made use of the Big Data Research and Development Initiative to help figure out problems faced by the government. Both the Obama administration and the current Indian ruling party (BJP) used Big Data analysis in 2012 and 2014 to mark their whopping victory in elections. In addition, Big Data also works in conjunction with the Internet of Things (IoT) by extracting data from IoT and providing a mapping of device inter-connectivity. This can be further used by media, companies, and governments to acutely target an audience and enhance media efficiency.

big data concept

What Makes Big Data Important

Contrary to what the name suggests, Big Data is not about how much data you have access to, but what exactly you do when you are accessing it. Big Data is important because it can be used to analyze and find solutions for the following:

  • Reducing cost
  • Reducing time
  • Developing projects
  • Providing optimized services
  • Smarter decision-making
  • Determining customer behavior
  • Finding causes of failure
  • Market research
  • Recalculating risk portfolios
  • Detecting prevailing threats

Fields Where Big Data Is Used

With its vast portfolio comprising data of every kind, Big Data is widely used to derive desired results. It is undeniably the backbone of accurate research and analysis, elucidating customer behavior and increasing customer satisfaction, while reducing risk and fraud. Here are a few places where Big Data plays a vital role:

Banking: Banks and financial institutions face a constant challenge in meeting client requirements. At the same time, they also need to protect themselves from granting any fraudulent access to cyberthieves or attackers. It is vital that the personal and financial details of their customers stay safe on their servers and that they remain a step ahead of any prevailing threat. To this set of circumstances, Big Data brings insights and keeps the path illuminated.

Education: The changing routines and curricula of present-day education require academic institutions to stay ahead of the evolving changes. Institutions with access to data-driven insights have the information they need to adjust their education system, pedagogy, and course curriculum. They are thus able to determine the best systems for learning, evaluation, and support.

Government: Whether regulating crime, tracking tax collection, or planning utility infrastructures, understanding people’s needs and behaviors, or managing traffic and planning automobile density—Big Data significantly caters to all the government’s needs.

Medical: Big Data helps in maintaining patient records, analyzing the most advanced cures and targeted medical practices, assessing the most effective prescriptions, and otherwise providing accurate assistance.

Manufacturing: Manufacturers use Big Data to gain research and development insights for boosting quality and output while minimizing waste. It also helps in solving customer issues and fixing problems that are likely to be encountered in the future.

Retail: Big Data can help retailers and sellers in developing a better market for their customers. It aids in effectively handling transactions, designing marketing, and making a comeback from closed business ventures.

big data course modules

How Big Data Works

Before analyzing how Big Data can help in boosting one’s business or work, it is important to understand the fundamentals of how it works. The sources for Big Data generally fall into one of three categories, as discussed below:

Streaming Data: The streamed data is accessed through a network of devices connected to an IT system. This data, once accessed, can be selectively used to analyze and formulate decisions for the development of products and services.

Social Media Data: Whatever comes into hand from social media sites is generally unstructured, but it is highly profitable in deriving behavioral analysis for marketing, sales, and support functions.

Publicly Available Data: Data that is publicly available is accessed through government portals and channels. Such data is highly useful as it is accurate and truthful. This data brings in analytics and records, thus helping in quick decision-making.

big data career

Career Options With Big Data

By now it is evident that Big Data is everywhere, and organizations are constantly using it for improved research and development. Because Big Data Analytics improves decision-making and boosts organizational growth, it remains an opportunity for IT professionals. Familiarity with Big Data basics and analytics offers wide career options. A complete list of Big Data courses is available here.