A brief introduction to Big Data
Big data is formed by large volume of data. It is often used by organisations to obtain business insights. Big data has been widely spoken recent years when the traditional way of handling data is no longer able to cope with the gradually inflow of data at lightning speed nowadays with the arrival of internet, social media and more and more digitisation in the ways we are living.
Here is a brief overview of how big data transform over decades:
In the past, most companies have been using statistical methods to win the market and to have an overview to plan on demand and supply optimally. With the revolution of technology, organisations start to extract patterns from the existing data set that has been managed over the years and this is where data mining is formed.
In recent years, we have seen big data in a boom where most companies perform much accurate forecast from mathematical to statistical models which enables predictive analysis to reduce the risk in business operations. While most companies are now leading into predictive analytics, large enterprises have been exploring advance analytics where the more complex and massive amount of data analytics taken place to overcome the business challenges and to be more sustainable in the future.
Big data science is a scientific method that requires knowledge, processes, algorithms, and systems in order to extract business value, insights, intelligence and predictions.
The above also explained the whole situation on how to get onboarding with big data in today world. Knowledge is crucial to kick start everything. An organisation would need a team that is highly knowledgeable to lead the sail in this big data journey. Usually, organisation will start the journey by selecting the right training programs as a kick start. A vendor neutral training program (best practice framework) would provide the team with a bigger picture on what are the possibilities and flexibility during the implementation.
When the team is ready, we can then dive into the processes in place. These include starting with creating social media accounts for your businesses, measuring your website performance as well as targeted advertising. This is where data is collected for your organisation. Here is the simple formula to explain these:
Big Data + Digital Platform = Unbreakable Bond
A big data process also includes drafting a blueprint of your big data framework. A framework act as a structure for an organisation. The framework structure provides a holistic view to cover every aspect that assists the organisation to achieve the results preferred.
Oxford defines an algorithm as a set of rules that must be followed when solving a particular problem. Consequently, you would need to set the rules required in order to achieve the desired result from your analytics. A best practice framework is recommended to be in place at this stage. Algorithms would assist the team in performing calculations, data processing and automated reasoning tasks. This also means that a group of knowledgeable team members would be required to function as the planner to provide clear direction to the organisation to achieve insightful results from the analytics that perform.
Big data characteristics are well-known as the 4V’s: Volume, Velocity, Variety and Veracity. Therefore, performing big data analytics would require an organisation to put up strategic planning with the infrastructure and technologies that could support the team towards gaining valuable results. There are many tools out in the market, selecting the right tools would be crucial as this would be a very important step in your investment in Big Data. The most common tools would be Apache Hadoop, Knime, Apache Storm, Apache Cassandra and Rapid Miner.
The factor that you should consider while selecting a Big Data Tool would be:
- License cost
- Quality of after-sales customer support
- The training cost for team member involved in using the tool
- Systems requirement on using the tool (infrastructures needed within the organisation)
- Support capability and policy update by the tool vendor
- Reviews of the tool from current and past customers