What is Big Data and Why is it Important?
Before we talk about the concept of big data and its importance in today’s world, we need to understand the concept of data. Roughly, data is the name given to the raw piece of real information. Data are obtained by counting, measuring, experimenting, surveying, or observing. Data obtained through counting or measurement is called quantitative data, and data that does not report a numerical value is called qualitative data.
In this article, we told you what the concept of big data is, what the components of this concept are, what are the uses of big data, what are the advantages and disadvantages of big data, and finally, the importance of big data for our lives.
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What is Big Data?
Big data, whose name we are starting to hear quite often today, has increasing importance in today’s world. This growing importance is what the Harvard Business Review calls the “revolution of big data”. Big data is a phenomenon that has been put forward by software companies that carry out research and development activities to transform the information stacks created by different sources such as search engines, social media platforms, information-document archives, machine data, and log files into meaningful data by processing them.
Five Important Components of Big Data to Know
The phenomenon called big data consists of five main components. The five main components mentioned here can be listed as variety, velocity, volume, verification, and value. Now let’s explain these components.
- Variety: A significant part of the data produced has different formats. Data coming from tens of different devices, from different languages , and different systems naturally lead to the emergence of different formats.
- Velocity: In today’s globalizing world, the technological opportunities that are increasing due to the developing technology with a great and unstoppable speed naturally cause the amount of data obtained, the number of transactions to be done and the natural result of these, the variety of transactions to be made to increase in the right proportion.
- Volume: The obtained data should be stored accurately and efficiently, and for this, very good editing is required. If the existing data cannot be properly stored, it is hardly appropriate to speak of its proper processing as a natural consequence.
- Verification: If we are talking about countless data to be obtained, their security and accuracy are also extremely important. By whom and under what conditions all the obtained data will be viewed, and the issues that this data should be kept confidential are issues that need to be studied with great care.
- Value: The most important of the components related to big data is value. The data obtained and processed is meaningful only as long as it can add value to the organization. For this reason, it should be the primary goal that the analysis and simulations of big data are set up correctly and that it benefits the organization that uses/uses big data.
What are the Uses of Big Data?
Let’s explore where we use the big data.
- Banking: With the use of big data, banks can see the details of money movements. In some cases, banks can predict and prevent possible disasters or theft.
- Media, communication, and entertainment: The use of big data in the fields of cinema, journalism, television broadcasting, game organizations, and communication is quite common. The source of this situation is that customers can now access the content that is offered from anywhere and on the device they want.
- Social media: On some social media platforms, the total number of shares made in one day can exceed three hundred million. That’s more than ten million shares every hour. The statistical numbers are given here explain the importance of big data to us mathematically.
- Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction, which is among the areas of use of big data, is especially useful in measuring customer satisfaction through social media.
- Health: Thanks to big data, it is possible to review the images or trends of some diseases and therefore to diagnose them early. This method both reduces costs and increases the quality of health services. It offers a great opportunity.
- Production: Big data is used to support decision-making and decision-making processes in the fields of production and sourcing. For companies to gain a competitive advantage, forecasting models that extract information from geographical, textual, temporal, and graphical elements of big data are used.
- Insurance: A better price adjustment can be made by using big data in the insurance field. Big data, which provides the opportunity to establish stronger customer relationships, can increase the profitability and performance of insurance organizations.
- Retail: Among the benefits of using big data in retailing, big data is used to display stocks accurately.
- Transportation: Government agencies can use big data to control traffic, plan the best transportation route, and develop smart transportation systems
- Energy: Big data helps provide better workforce management and resource management, identify and quickly review problems encountered before failures occur.
- Measurement: In social fields such as marketing, psychology, and public policies, fixed-prone, and indirect behavior data that is specific to the person can be used.
In the above articles, we talked about some of the usage areas of big data. Even if they do not constitute all of the usage areas of big data, they constitute a large and important part of it. Sharing on social media, especially when they are made directly from personal accounts, makes a great contribution to big data and therefore they have a very important place for companies working with big data.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Big Data
The increase in the amount of data obtained can create both advantages and disadvantages. Overall, having more data on leads and customers should allow companies with big data to better tailor products and marketing efforts to create optimal levels of satisfaction and repeat business. It offers companies that collect large amounts of data the opportunity to conduct deeper analysis for the benefit of all partners.
Considering the amount of personal data available about individuals in today’s world, the steps companies take to protect this existing data are very important. In today’s online world, it is a hot topic of discussion with dozens of data breaches that companies experience.
Although better analysis is a positive thing, big data has the potential to reduce its usefulness by creating overload and noise. Therefore, companies must process larger volumes of data and determine which data represent signals compared to noise. Making sure what makes the data relevant is an extremely important factor.
In addition, the format and nature of the data are likely to require special handling before processing. Structured data consisting of quantitative values can be easily sorted and stored easily. Unstructured data such as e-mails, text documents, and videos may require more sophisticated techniques to be applied before they are useful.
The concept we call big data is a term that describes large volumes of data. However, what matters here is what companies do with the data rather than the amount of data. Analyzes of this data are essential for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business actions.
In short, the importance of big data is not how much data you have, but how you can evaluate the data you have obtained. Cost reduction and time savings in various fields can be achieved through big data. By interpreting the data obtained while developing a new product or service, more efficient products or services can be produced according to the wishes and needs of the potential user.
What are Big Data Examples?
The sources of big data are innumerable. Today, due to the continuous advancement of technology, the resources of almost everything are increasing, and the resources of big data are increasing day by day. Of course, we’re not going to shy away from talking about the myriad of sources and give a few examples. Some examples we can give are transaction processing systems, customer databases, electronic mails, medical records, internet clickstream logs, social networks, and mobile applications. In addition, it includes machine-generated data, such as network and server log files, as well as data from sensors in manufacturing machines, industrial equipment, and IoT devices.
In addition to the data coming from the internal systems, some examples of which we have mentioned above, big data environments generally include consumers, financial markets, geographic information, scientific research. Includes external data on climbs, weather and traffic conditions, and more. Images, videos, and audio files are also big data formats, and many big data applications include stream data that is constantly being processed and collected.
Importance of Big Data for Our Lives
Big data is based entirely on the analysis of real data. It is a concept that first entered our lives in 1998 with the presentation of John Mashey called “Big Data and Infrastructure Tension Wave”.
As the name suggests, the concept on which big data is based is data. The aforementioned data are obtained through observation and measurement values without any processing. Data on their own are meaningless and cannot be used on their own. The aforementioned data can be obtained from the research, observations, social media, various sensors in our devices, and many different environments. The concept we call big data is the set of all these data obtained.
When we look at the most successful companies in today’s world, their most important common feature is that they accurately predict the demands and needs of users by using the data they have obtained and big data. It not only ensures the profits of the companies but also helps to prevent the losses thanks to the accurate forecasts.
If we look at it from a different perspective, there are also discussions that data can create privacy and security problems. When we give this data to companies and states that have a large area in the technology world, we are giving all our privacy, and therefore, the fact that states have this data is now a sign of power to a great extent. The more data we have about an individual, the more predictions we have about the decisions that an individual can make. The reason for the wars that may break out soon maybe data rather than land and oil as in the past. Because in today’s world, power is knowledge, not population or weapons. And we reach information through data.
Data is very important to us and useful in many ways. For example, you need a new computer to do your work and you come across advertisements about it. A relative of yours has told you that he needs a new car, and you come across advertisements and campaigns about it. All of this and more is made possible by big data. We don’t usually pay for the social media apps we use, and we think we’re providing all access for free. These companies take our data as fees, not our money. Finally, it is useful to remind the famous saying:
If you don’t pay for the product you are the product!
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