Big Data – Definition and Significance

Big Data a critical component of the digital ecosystem, enabling organizations to harness the power of data to drive innovation and achieve business success. As data continues to grow in volume, velocity, and variety, it is essential for organizations to invest in the necessary infrastructure, tools, and skills to effectively manage and analyze it.

Author: Ana Nives Radovic
Publication: Fintechlopedia
Presented in association with: Visa Inc.

The human mind cannot even imagine the amount of data that, for example, a small group of users exchanges on a daily basis on the internet. Computers can handle this, but even in this field, the situation has become so complex over time that it was essential to look for new ways of perceiving and analyzing the floating data so that their collection and arranging could be useful.

In today’s digital age, the term Big Data has become ubiquitous, referring to the massive amount of information that is generated, collected, stored, and analyzed. But what exactly is Big Data and why is it important?

The concept of “large data sets” was first mentioned in a 1997 scientific article published by the Association for Computing Machinery. Since then, the term has evolved to encompass a process that involves the discovery, allocation, storing, analyzing, and presenting of a vast amount of digital data.

Big Data is characterized by its three Vs: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. Volume refers to the sheer amount of data generated and collected, which continues to grow at an exponential rate. Velocity refers to the speed at which data is generated and the need to process it in real-time. Variety refers to the diverse sources and formats of data, including structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data.

The origin of Big Data can be traced back to the 1960s, when the first data warehouses were built to store and manage large amounts of structured data. However, it was not until the advent of the internet and the proliferation of digital devices that Big Data truly exploded.

Today, Big Data is generated by a multitude of sources, including social media, mobile devices, sensors, and IoT devices. It is used by various industries and sectors, including healthcare, finance, retail, and marketing, to gain insights and make data-driven decisions.

The importance of Big Data lies in its ability to provide insights and reveal patterns that were previously hidden. By analyzing large amounts of data, organizations can identify trends, understand consumer behavior, optimize processes, and improve decision-making. For example, retailers can use Big Data to personalize their offerings and improve customer experiences, while healthcare providers can use it to develop personalized treatments and improve patient outcomes.

Collecting Big Data

Data collection is an important tool for businesses, customers, and advertisers alike. While there are concerns about privacy and security, the benefits of data collection cannot be ignored. By collecting and analyzing data, businesses can make informed decisions, provide better customer experiences, and stay ahead of the competition.

The collection of data through various means has become increasingly important in recent years. With the growth of technology and the internet, the amount of data available has increased exponentially. This has led to the rise of Big Data and the use of machine learning algorithms to make sense of it all.

For businesses, the collection of data is crucial for making informed decisions. By collecting data on customer habits and preferences, businesses can tailor their products and services to better suit their customers’ needs. They can also use this data to adjust their pricing strategies and marketing campaigns. The insights gained through data collection can help businesses stay ahead of the competition and identify new opportunities for growth.

Customers can also benefit from data collection. By sharing their information with businesses, customers can receive more personalized recommendations and offers. This can lead to a better overall shopping experience and help customers save money by taking advantage of promotions that are tailored to their needs.

Advertisers can also benefit from data collection. By collecting data on consumer behavior, advertisers can create more effective advertising campaigns that are targeted towards specific groups of people. This can lead to higher conversion rates and a better return on investment.

While data collection has many benefits, there are also concerns about privacy and data security. It is important for businesses to be transparent about the data they collect and how it is used. They must also take steps to protect their customers’ data from unauthorized access and use.

The process

Numerous systems within everything we use are “in charge” of transmitting and collecting data, and information about it can be stored for reuse, or just once.

Big Data makes an endless array of details about an entity collected in a variety of ways to use electronic devices, which can include websites that someone visits, apps they have on their phone, email addresses they communicate with, phone numbers they talk to or send messages, but also smaller systems such as, for example, any home smart device, such as thermostats, alarms, GPS devices, exercise equipment, smart vacuum cleaners, smart refrigerators or washing machines and many other devices that can be controlled via mobile apps.

The process of collecting Big Data is an essential aspect of modern data-driven decision making. It involves the collection and analysis of large and complex data sets, which are gathered from a variety of sources, including electronic devices, such as websites, mobile apps, email addresses, phone numbers, and home smart devices, like thermostats, alarms, GPS devices, exercise equipment, smart vacuum cleaners, smart refrigerators, and washing machines, among others.

These data sets are so large and diverse that traditional data processing software is unable to manage them effectively, requiring the use of new tools and software to process them. Big Data may be structured, unstructured, or semi-structured. Structured data have a fixed digital format and are usually processed using devices, while unstructured data are information that is not organized and lacks an encoded format, such as data collected from social networks or internet services.

Semi-structured data contain both structured and unstructured data elements, such as internet server logs and data from sensors. Despite the seemingly autonomous nature of the Big Data collection process, it cannot function outside of human intelligence. While there are intensive efforts in the development of artificial intelligence, the human mind and its analytical skills are still necessary, particularly when working to improve this field.

The potential uses of Big Data are countless, given the large and complex nature of the data sets collected. These data sets offer valuable insights into market trends, consumer behavior, competition, and other critical business aspects. Many companies, both in the ICT market and beyond, now collect and use Big Data to inform their strategic decision-making processes.

However, the collection and analysis of Big Data also raise concerns about privacy and data protection. As the use of electronic devices and smart technologies continues to increase, the amount of data collected also grows, creating a need for robust data protection laws and regulations. As such, responsible data collection and management practices are essential for businesses to build trust with their customers and ensure the ethical use of Big Data.

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This content was brought to you by VISA, the global leader in digital payments, whose mission is to connect the world with an innovative and secure payment network to enable individuals, businesses, and economies to grow.

Visa is the general partner of the Fintechlopedia project, an electronic glossary containing all relevant elements of digital transactions and related phenomena, situations, processes, and innovations.


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