How is big data collected by companies?
Data is an asset that transforms business opportunities. With this understanding, the IT industry entered 2017, which promises to be a breakthrough year in the application of Big Data. Internet companies, banks, telecom operators already know a lot about their users. But how to use this knowledge?
Once upon a time, Big Data was spoken of as a set of large amounts of data. Five years ago, research company IDC predicted that by 2020 the volume of data in the world will reach 40 zettabytes (Zb) – that is, an average of 5.2 thousand GB for every inhabitant of the planet. If companies that deal with data can collect, analyze and channel the knowledge gained, this can fundamentally change the way they approach business. Data analysis will make services more personal in many areas. That is, customers will be able to receive the right services at the right time, and, therefore, become more loyal.
It is expected that this year the companies that made the first attempts to work with Big Data will finally move on to implementing real solutions. After all, the point is not to collect and store some data – it needs to be used effectively.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence
Expanding digital skills gaps mean that organizations around the world are in an endless race for big data professionals with machine learning and artificial intelligence skills. The list goes on and on:
- neural networks;
- reinforcement learning;
- adversarial learning;
- decision trees;
Where does the data come from
Today, a big data services company is understood as a series of approaches, tools, and methods for processing structured and unstructured data of huge volumes. There are many sources of data: this is the Internet with social networks, and information from mobile devices (for example, geodata), and readings from measuring devices (meters, sensors, etc.), and photo/video information from the public places where surveillance systems.
Where Big Data Works
To work with big data, you need to be able to collect it – read it. They need to be stored somewhere – to manage streams of unstructured data consisting of texts, images, videos, combine data from different sources, and provide accessibility from applications. Finally, they need to be processed, analyzed, patterns identified, information filtered, and conclusions drawn.
If many have learned how to collect and store data, then only a few companies with the necessary resources can process it – that is, turn it from a dead weight into a useful asset.
Big data as a new development driver
In the era of digital technologies and social networks, the amount of information generated is increasing exponentially. If a company has a website, an application for smartphones, requests, and customer reviews are sent to its e-mail or through instant messengers, then it already has data that can be used for analysis. But how does it benefit the business?
Large companies started asking themselves this question seven years ago, but then few saw the benefits of big data analytics. In 2015, only 17% of companies around the world used big data in their work. Companies from IT, banking and telecommunications businesses turned out to be the pioneers in the implementation of big data. No wonder. These sectors accumulate the largest amount of data: banks – through transactions, telecoms – through geodata, and search engines – through query histories.
All large companies are now using big data analytics. In the United States, more than 55% of companies from a wide variety of industries work with this technology. In Europe and Asia, the demand for big data is slightly lower – about 53%. It turns out that over the past five years, businesses have started using big data three times more.