Big data is a combination of structured, semi structured and unstructured data collected by organizations that can be mined for information and used in machine learning
projects, predictive modelling and other advanced analytics applications. Systems that process and store big data have become a common component of data management
architectures in organizations.
Importance of big data
Companies use the big data accumulated in their systems to improve operations, provide better customer service, create personalized marketing campaigns based on specific customer preferences and, ultimately, increase profitability. Businesses that utilize big data hold a potential competitive advantage over those that don’t since they’re able to make faster and more informed business decisions, provided they use the data effectively.
For example, big data can provide companies with valuable insights into their customers that can be used to refine marketing campaigns and techniques in order to increase customer engagement and conversion rates.
Big data challenges
Besides the processing capacity and cost issues, designing a big data architecture is another common challenge for users. Big data systems must be tailored to an organization’s particular needs, a DIY undertaking that requires IT teams and application developers to piece together a set of tools from all the available technologies. Deploying and managing big data systems also require new skills compared to the ones possessed by database administrators (DBAs) and developers focused on relational software.
Both of those issues can be eased by using a managed cloud service, but IT managers need to keep a close eye on cloud usage to make sure costs don’t get out of hand. Also, migrating on-premises data sets and processing workloads to the cloud is often a complex process for organizations.
Making the data in big data systems accessible to data scientists and other analysts is also a challenge, especially in distributed environments that include a mix of different platforms and data stores. To help analysts find relevant data, IT and analytics teams are increasingly working to build data catalogs that incorporate metadata management and data lineage functions. Data quality and data governance also need to be priorities to ensure that sets of big data are clean, consistent and used properly.