Introduction to Big Data- Importance, Types and Benefits

Introduction to Big Data

Data is one of the most crucial requirements for business organisations to develop strategies, goals and objectives. Technologies have made it easier for businesses to make decisions. The fact that data collection is a vital part of the decision-making process requires gathering data from multiple sources. Companies have been using Big Data to analyse large volumes of data. The following blog is an introduction to Big Data and will help you to understand its importance, types, characteristics and benefits in today’s world. 

 Key takeaways 

  • Big Data helps collect and analyse large data sets from multiple sources like social media, weblogs, etc. 
  • The importance of Big Data lies in understanding customer behaviour and demands, cost and time savings, innovation and development and boosting customer engagement. 
  • There are three types of Big Data structured, unstructured and semi-structured. 
  • Characteristics of Big Data primarily involve volume, variety, velocity and variability. 
  • The benefits of Big Data in the market include analysing consumer behaviour and pattern, operational efficiency, enabling risk management, product development and predictive analysis. 

What is Big Data? 

Big Data is the acquisition and extraction of a large amount of data from numerous sources, including social media platforms, Web Logs, sensors, IoT devices, etc. The data may be structured, semi-structured or even unstructured. Additionally, Big Data help in the generation of insightful information from massive data. It helps refine marketing techniques, campaigns, machine learning projects, and various analytics operations. 

Why Big Data? 

The rapid expansion and development of social media platforms and mobile apps have resulted in large volumes of data flooding the market. Billions of users have shown interest and are attracted to social media platforms, due to which data is rising. As a result, the need to handle, process and store these large volumes of data requires Big Data. Furthermore, the business organisations in the market are at an additional advantage considering that Big Data Analytics has been revolutionising the IT sector. Big Data uses new-age analytics, mining, statistics and machine learning. Moreover, with the help of Big Data, organisations can now perform multiple operations, store TBs of data, and pre-process, analyse and visualise it effectively. 

Importance of Big Data 

The importance of Big Data revolves around more than just the amount of data a company has. Big Data’s importance revolves around how the company can use the collected data. Effectively, the importance of Big Data for companies has various reasons, which include the following: 

  • Cost Savings- storing the collection of large volumes of data occurs efficiently with enough security and confidentiality. Accordingly, Big Data tools like Hadoop, Apache, Spark, etc., helps keep the data. 
  • Time-saving- Big Data uses real-time in-memory analytics that helps collect data from multiple sources. Using Hadoop further helps analyse the data and make efficient decisions faster. 
  • Understanding Customer Behaviour: the market conditions change with changes in consumer behaviour. Effectively, Big Data helps identify these changes and enables organisations to produce products with higher demand. Further, it helps in achieving a competitive advantage for the company. 
  • Social Media Listening: Social media platforms help companies to reach their target customers. By undertaking sentiment analysis using Big Data tools, companies can gain feedback from customers on what they think about the brand. Furthermore, Big Data can help in improving the online presence of companies. 
  • Boost Customer Acquisition and Retention: Businesses can identify and understand their customers, demands, and needs. Significantly, Big Data tools helps analyse customer demand trends and patterns. It helps in acquiring new customers and retaining customers. 
  • Innovation and Product Development: Companies can use Big Data tools to enable product development and foster innovation. Effectively, it ensures that companies can grow and enhance profitability in the market. 

 Types of Big Data

Types of Big Data

Three different types of Big Data are prevalent in business organisations. 

  • Structured Data- the data collected, analysed and stored in a fixed format using spreadsheets and databases are structured. With the help of advancing techniques, it has been possible to extract meaningful value from these data. 
  • Unstructured Data: any form of data that has no proper structure or an unknown form is unstructured data. This type of data is challenging to derive valuable insights from because of the raw nature of the data.
  • Semi-structured Data: this type of data consists of both structured and unstructured data. A semi-structured data has a structured form, but the data cannot be defined. 

Characteristics of Big Data 

The characteristics of Big Data focus on four different forms-  

  • Volume: one of the most important aspects of data collection is understanding the data’s size. Acccordingly, understanding whether a particular data is Big Data depends on the collection of data by volume. Hence, while using Big Data analytics, the importance of data should be considered a crucial component.
  • Variety: Data can be of different varieties. Some data might be structured and some unstructured type of data. In the past, the use of Big Data was to analyse structured data from spreadsheets and databases. Nowadays, data is collected and gathered from videos, PDFs, audio, emails, photos, etc. Moreover, using Big Data Analytics, these unstructured data require careful storage, mining, and analysis. 
  • Velocity: The term velocity implies speed, and the rate of generating data using Big Data tools determines the potential of the collected data. Evidently, Big Data Velocity deals with the speed at which data flows within a company from multiple sources. 
  • Variability: At times, the data generated may need some consistency, which makes managing and handling data processes difficult. 

Characteristics of Big Data 

 Benefits of Big Data 

The use of Big Data analytics in today’s market allows businesses to have immense advantages. The explanation of the benefits of Big Data is as follows: 

  • Customer Acquisition and Retention 

Big Data helps analyse customer behaviour in the market and collects data on customer feedback regarding their purchase of different products. Accordingly, customers in the current market demand to be treated respectfully and acknowledged for their investment. Especially in the case of online purchases that customers indulge in, they want to receive gratitude for the same. Significantly, Big Data helps in this aspect and thanks the customers for their investment, increasing engagement. Additionally, there are times when customers complain about specific products and require a brand to take action. Big Data helps take real-time steps by checking the customer profile and enabling reputation management. 

  • Product Development

Big Data helps companies to enable product development within their business. Therefore, Understanding customer demands and feedback on existing products and engaging with them through social media helps collect data. Moreover, it allows companies to make innovations within their products for redevelopment to gain higher customer satisfaction.

  • Enhance Manufacturing Processes

With the help of Big Data, you can make minor changes within a product’s images and test different variations of Computer-Aided Design. Furthermore, it helps understand the impact of minor changes and becomes a crucial step in manufacturing. 

  • Competitive Advantage 

Businesses use Predictive Analysis to analyse future trends and patterns in the market. Big Data facilitates the analysis to analyse the data and provides valuable insights. For instance, identifying trends and patterns from social media feed and news reports and analysing them using Big Data helps you understand your competitor’s strategies. As a result, it helps develop strategies that might take you ahead of your competitors. 

  • Risk Management

Business organisations typically operate in high-risk environments and require practical solutions and plans to eliminate the risks. Big Data helps eradicate chances by planning risk management processes and strategies. 

  • Market Trends and Patterns

Big Data analytics help identify the customer’s trends and patterns in terms of the type of products and services they demand. By focusing on customer feedback, companies can understand in-depth requirements. It further helps the company to induce customisations within their products for higher customer engagement. 

Wrapping Up!

The above blog post provides a detailed explanation of Big Data. From the importance of Big Data to understanding the benefits of Big Data, the blog has offered explicit conceptual knowledge on it. Technological advancements and the ability of businesses to induce innovation to require the help of Big Data Analytics to conduct business operations effectively. Through Big Data, companies have been gaining operational efficiency, enhancing their competencies in analysing customer behaviour and, thus, gaining competitive advantage.

Asmita Kar

I am a Senior Content Writer working with Pickl.AI. I am a passionate writer, an ardent learner and a dedicated individual. With around 3years of experience in writing, I have developed the knack of using words with a creative flow. Writing motivates me to conduct research and inspires me to intertwine words that are able to lure my audience in reading my work. My biggest motivation in life is my mother who constantly pushes me to do better in life. Apart from writing, Indian Mythology is my area of passion about which I am constantly on the path of learning more.