The modern world is flush with technology jargon, and new ones keep entering our lexicon: Digital Transformation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and Generative Artificial Intelligence are just a few examples. And as often happens with overused words and phrases, we become very comfortable with these to the point that they soon become a part of the background noise.
Big Data, first coined in the early nineties represents one of the earliest concepts shaping the modern data driven and connected world.
Big Data is the growing amount of information that people, organisations, and sensors generate. When data is generated, copied, and transmitted over the Internet, the volume of data expands dramatically. And when the information is stored and processed, it is likely to be massively magnified again. The result is that a vast and growing volume of data in the world is waiting to be analysed and used.
How does Big Data impact our surroundings?
Big Data Explained
The world generates 328.77 million terabytes of data daily, according to Exploding Topics. One can conservatively store 45 4K-resolution movies in one terabyte. IMDb, the leading movie database, has 640,000 movie entries, which would require around 15,000 terabytes to store 4K versions of each film. We can duplicate all those movies twenty thousand times to match a single day of global data.
Most of this data is Big Data, which is distinct from traditional data.
Traditional data is structured and collected for specific actions and tasks. Big Data, on the other hand, is unstructured and ordered in bulk for analysis and insights. Traditional data also tends to be processed in a centralised way. Data is stored in databases that a single organisation manages. Big Data is distributed across many different organisations.
Big Data is often characterised by three V’s: Volume, Variety, and Velocity. Volume refers to the fact that a huge amount of data is being generated. Variety refers to the fact that data comes in many different types, originating from various sources and other formats. Velocity refers to the fact that data is arriving and being generated at an ever-increasing rate.
Yet what is the use of all that data?
Big Data is essential because it gives us insights into every aspect of our lives and our world. It helps us to understand ourselves, our health, our finances, our relationships, and our behaviour. It gives us insights into our climate, environment, and wildlife. It helps businesses make better decisions and improve their operations. It helps us understand our markets, customers, and supply chains. It helps us better understand our communities, infrastructure, and environment.
Big Data in the Real World
Big Data is already mainstream ; numerous sectors rely on it to improve their performance and insights. There are ample examples in healthcare, financial services, entertainment, marketing, logistics, retail, and practically all other industries. The Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Internet of Things rely wholly on Big Data. Big Data makes our daily lives easier, such as with vehicle insurance.
DSG, in partnership with Zendrive, offer an IQL (Insurance Qualified Leads) Ecosystem in South Africa which uses Big Data from multiple sensors on a mobile device to assess a driver’s behaviour and, therefore, risk, and we match insurance companies that are interested in that ‘preferred’ risk. They understand the customer’s driving behaviour via a 30-day trial, and then provide the consumer with a personalised quote from the insurance company interested in the risk, which is personalised and cost-effective.
One can find parallels with health insurers tracking gym attendance or how a streaming service recommends shows. Big Data helps companies create efficient fleets, prevent equipment failure, test service concepts, and more: it covers efficiency, innovation and risk-reduction requirements.
As new technologies emerge even more data will be generated . Since more data is generated more powerful technologies and tools to analyse it will emerge. Big Data will continue to transform nearly every industry and impact everyone. It’s how we’re changing the world, and the people changing their world, take Big Data very seriously.
- Yaron Assabi, founder of Digital Solutions Group (DSG)