Surely you’ve heard about Big Data, but do you know exactly what it is? There are a lot of definitions like “Big Data is data which exceeds 100 GB/500 GB/1 TB” or “Big Data is data you can’t process on a single computer”, or something like that. These are not very correct meanings. Let’s define Big Data and its basic features.
Big Data is the set of approaches, methodologies and instruments for processing large amounts of structured and unstructured information. As you can see, Big Data meaning is more about methods than about the amounts of information or information itself.
Big Data principles
Big Data solutions can store and manage large amounts of information. As a result, the system gives you some patterns you need. After Machine Learning model is trained, it can achieve 80-90% accuracy of predictions.
Here are the basic principles of Big Data work:
- Horizontal Scaling. Big Data means any amount of information, so a system that works with this information needs to be scalable. If the amount of information double up, hardware in the cluster doubles up too and the system works without pauses.
- Fault tolerance. Scaling involves a lot of hardware in one cluster. Yahoo-cluster, for example, includes more than 42,000 machines. Hardware can break down and Big Data methods need to take account of it. Thus, hardware failure can’t affect the system work.
- Local data. The majority of distributed systems distribute data on a large number of machines. If you have data on one server and process them on another, time for data transfer can be bigger than the time for data processing. This is non-efficient, thus whenever possible Big Data processes and stores the data on the same hardware.
Big Data application and benefits
Big Data can be used in different areas – banking, retail, healthcare, manufacturing. It can collect different data from users, for example, and make turnkey solutions. We can see Big Data benefits on the examples of worldwide companies.
- Apple. They used Bid Data to collect and analyze their User Flow to improve the products, apps and design. An example of such Big Data usage is an Apple Watch, which collects data about users health and can give health tips and even call the ambulance. As a result, the company has loyal and satisfied customers.
- Intel. The company implemented Big Data to reduce costs. Intel microprocessors need to pass a huge amount of tests. Big Data can analyze what tests are unnecessary and provide only necessary checks. Thus, the company lowers the time and expenses on testing.
- Nestle. This company uses Big Data to optimize production processes. Nestle fabrics need a high level of supplies accuracy. The common goal is to keep the produce as fresh as possible. Big Data helps to predict demand on one or other supplies and form better supply logistics.
You might think that Big Data suits only huge companies, but small and medium companies also can use Big Data to make different solutions.
Wrap Up: what is big data?
We considered Big Data definition, basic principles and examples of usage. Big Data is used in different companies and areas. Big Data solutions collect and manage huge amounts of information and can give you data selection or business insights you need.