Is there a simple definition of big data? Most would say “no.” In fact, not everyone can even agree on the origins of the term. However, most can agree that it involves a massive amount of data, which must be analyzed and protected.
It’s easy to generate a terabyte worth of data, but now data is being measured in massive volumes – zettabytes, or nearly a billion terabytes. Within a load of big data exists different types, including structured, unstructured and semi-structured. Furthermore, your data could derive from differing sources. Mobile devices, video files, networks, websites – we have no shortage of vehicles through which data is gathered. The question is, what are you doing with it?
Analyzing the Data
There isn’t much value to data if it’s not being analyzed. The process of data mining involves looking for anomalies and patterns, which allow us to glean information that we can use to our liking, most often for improving business tasks. For example, data mining allows us to learn more about our target market, giving us the insights we need to cater to them and put more appropriate content in front of them.
Victor Nilson, a senior VP at AT&T, said in an interview that they focus on the customer experience, as that’s what matters most. However, in their customer care centers, they have products that have complex potential problems or solutions, which can impact workflow. They use big data techniques to analyze various permutations and augment experiences for better resolution. Complexity, he said, is turned into something actionable and simple.
The Revolution of Digitization
There has been a huge shift away from paper and toward digitization. Some industries generate much more digitized data than others. Take healthcare as an example. Some X-ray files can be gigabytes large, and that’s just one file. There is a lot of “paperwork” associated with healthcare, which means every day, each patient visit piles on to the existing data load.
Some providers are analyzing their data with new processes, including machine learning, which can quickly fine-tune algorithms, spotting trends and allowing for more fact-based predictions. They can use this to predict when their offices will be busiest and staff accordingly. Clinicians can use their data for improving the healthcare services they provide.
Finding the Efficiencies in Data Mining
Amazon and Google are companies that have mastered analyzing big data. If you’ve ever shopped on Amazon, their data analysis capabilities are easy to see when you look at products they recommend. They’ve “learned” from your search and buying habits, and put in front of you products that will probably be of interest to you.
However, to properly mine your data, you need the right tools. At Compass Solutions, we have more than a quarter century of experience in IT and telecom. We offer advice that is unbiased, which means our clients get the right solutions to keep them competitive and achieving their goals. If you have questions about big data, contact us today.