Big data as the name suggests is an extremely large collection of structured, semi-structured or unstructured data that grows exponentially over time and with increasing velocity.
With the advancements in technology such as Single-board computers used to power Internet of Things (IoT), online community centric apps and Artificial Intelligence (AI), data is generated at a much faster rate and as such tools have been introduced to help in the collection and analysis of this data with the purpose of helping companies in gaining value from said data.
Cloud computing and graph databases have also helped in expanding the possibilities of big data by reducing infrastructural set up costs and providing a faster and more comprehensive means of consuming and analysing massive amounts of data.
Benefits of Big Data for Businesses
Benefits of big data include:
1. Machine Learning
Through big data, we can train machines rather than program them thereby imitating human intelligence. This can be seen in models such as self driving vehicles, robotics and Ecommerce product suggestions based on a users search pattern. Social media algorithms also contain some form of machine learning which helps to populate a user’s feed with more of similar content they interact with.
2. Fraud and Compliance
The digital landscape is fraught with bad actors looking to make a quick buck off of others hard work. Such characters prey on unsuspecting online users through social engineering tactics. Through big data, systems have been created that catch patterns similar to the tactics used in fraud and help to mitigate or outright stop fraud before unsuspecting targets fall victim.
Big data can be used to drive innovation by studying the interactions between businesses, customers and institutions and introducing new streamlined ways of powering these interactions through insights obtained from big data.
4. Product Development
Building predictive models that are based on past or current products and their key attributes can help companies to anticipate customer demand and launch new products based on customers appetite for the product thus increasing likelihood of commercial success for the product.
5. Operational Efficiency
Through big data, companies can gain insight on customer feedback, production, return on marketing spend and adjust accordingly from a data driven standpoint.