Sunday, February 26, 2017

What’s all the fuss about Big Data?

Big Data is a term that gets bandied around a lot these days. What does it really mean and how is it going to make a great difference to the way business is conducted around the world? Well the thing is that it is possible in the digital age for most organizations to collect a gargantuan amount of data, but that by itself won’t amount to much, unless one is able to analyse it and derive whatever is useful out of it.

If one can do that, one will obviously be able to run the affairs of one’s organization far more efficiently with regard to both strategic management and day to day decisions. At the heart of Big Data are the three Vs propounded by renowned industry analyst Dough Laney-Volume, Velocity and Variety.

There are several ways in which data can be collected in today’s times-business records, various kinds of research and experiments and increasingly via the Internet of Things. Furthermore Big Data may be structured or unstructured. In order for one to effectively leverage Big Data, one needs to enhance the computing infrastructure. If one were to try and accomplish that by using servers those would have to number in the hundreds and thousands to achieve the desired velocity. This can obviously not come cheap. The more practicable alternative is to use public cloud computing to facilitate Big Data Analytics projects.

Though there is a lot of debate about the inevitability of adopting Big Data, there is also  underlying fear and confusion about what sort of monster might one be unleashing here. One would do well to go back to the basics and understand what Big Data really is and what it stands for.

Well Big Data is a sum to total of data of both traditional and digital origin sourced from both within and outside an organization that can be used for continuous analysis and discovery. That data comes in both unstructured (text, metadata and social media posts, etc.) and multi -structured forms (from myriad data formats) and is a mine of potentially extremely beneficial information.

Therefore it is incumbent upon all organizations to get their act together and understand the full implications of Big Data-what it is, what it can do for them and the sheer advantages of data oriented marketing. Once you get the hang of it with a little practise you will be able to witness a paradigm change in the way you customer engagement is enacted with immense benefits accruing to both the online and offline universe.