Characteristics of Big Data
Big Data can be described as a huge collection of data that typically is not possible to be stored or processed by any traditional processing units. It is the type of data that is produced at a massive scale. It is used by international companies. They collect it, process it and then analyze it for later to use it to gain insights about their business and their users.
Big Data comes with five characteristics: volume, variety, veracity, value and velocity. These are known as the five V’s of Big Data.
Volume typically refers to the gigantic amounts of data that has been generated every millisecond. Here, the data comes from smartphones, social media, credit cards, cars, sensors and all kinds of smart systems.
The biggest data-collecting company/ platform is Facebook. Facebook alone can approximately create more than billion messages a day. It records 4.5 billion times of clicking the like button and has more than 350 posts posted daily. This quantity of data is only possible because Facebook uses Big Data Technologies to handle it.
It is a dataset that stretches into gigabytes, petabytes and exabytes.
Big Data is produced in multiple varieties. It is the kind of data that now comes in the form of videos, photos and even audio. This makes it come from unknown sources and often in an unstructured form.
This variety of data makes the whole data big. Immense amounts of data come from only one company’s website. This data comes from website traffic, social media, email, review sites, mobile data, ads and so much more. All of these sources generate data that has the ability to be collected, stored and processed. When all of this is combined, it gives the second characteristic, and that is variety.
This collected data can be broken down into three distinct types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. The structured data is made of data types that are clearly –defined. They are organized and you can search them relatively easy. For example these are the things like, customer name lists, reservations, account history or simple spreadsheets.
On the other hand, unstructured data is unorganized. What this means is that it comes in the form of messages, images, videos and so on. Although they have a structure, the data itself is all over the internet. It is not in a particular order and it can be difficult to find and search.
Veracity is the third characteristic of Big Data. It is defined as the degree of how reliable is the offered data. As a huge part of the incoming data is often not relevant nor structures, it is important to find a way to filter the data so it is beneficial to businesses.
It is not a distinctive characteristic of Big Data. But is it an important component of it. It has a high volume and that is why it has to be reliable. The veracity of the data is one of the most valuable aspects of collecting data. It contributes a lot to the final outcome. That is why it has to be of a great quality.
Value enables organizations to take those gigantic pounds of data and transform them into a business. There are a lot of tools that are available for anyone to use. With them, any business is able to start with Big Data. The value of data gives businesses the ability to become close with their customers and clients. They are able to understand what their preferences and needs are and then optimize their services better.
For example, Uber has analyzed the collected user data and optimized its processes and operations. Now, thanks to that, they can predict needs and demands, create pricing models and so much more.
Velocity plays a major role as well. Velocity tells us the speed the data comes from the thousands of sources. The higher the velocity, the more data will be available. The analysis of data happens in real time, rather than being collected and then analyzed. That is why it is important to collect the data fast and to process it even faster. Facebook messages, Twitter posts, credit card swipes and ecommerce sales transactions are all examples of high velocity data.
Overall, Big Data plays an important part in our everyday life. If offers insights and extracts information to better optimize companies and platforms. And in order to do so, they must have the right tools and technology to utilize it the right way.