Big Data and How it can grow your Business

Raj Sharma, Co-Founder & President (Global), Majestic MRSS
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Raj Sharma, Co-Founder & President (Global), Majestic MRSS
Majestic MRSS is a Mumbai based marketing research solutions provider catering to clients in Asia and Middle East with services like product design and innovation, concept evaluation and feasibility study and others.

There is enough noise everywhere to make you sit up and notice Big Data, but not much to tell you how it translates to your business growth. The term "Big Data" was coined by Haseeb Budhani, founder and CEO of BubblewrApp and caught on as a blanket term for any large and complex collection of data sets which are difficult to process using traditional data processing applications. Let me give an example to exhibit its importance - Google's autocomplete and translate features are based on comprehensive data collection and real time analysis.

So, is your data Big Data? Yes, if it is in the order of exabytes (2.5×1018 or 1,024 petabytes) and if it is all from different sources such as sales, customer contact center, social media, mobile data, blogs and so on). The data is typically a mix of structured data and unstructured data. However, what will be considered "Big Data" depends on the capabilities of the organization managing the set, and on the capabilities of the applications that are traditionally used to process and analyze the data set in its domain?

For example, Facebook handles 50 billion photos from its user base and eBay.com uses two data warehouses at 7.5 Peta bytes (PB) and 40PB as well as a 40PB Hadoop cluster for search, consumer recommendations, and merchandising.

What are the characteristics of Big Data? There are three main characteristics of Big Data, popularly referred to as "3Vs" i.e. Volume, Velocity and Variety. Data volume is increasing exponentially. From 0.8 zb (zeta bytes) in 2009 to estimated 35 zb in 2020. Velocity means data is generated fast and need to be processed fast. Variety refers to different formats, types and structures. It includes text, numeric, audio, video and social media data. One can add one more V - Value to make it "4Vs". Value refers to the valuable insights one can get from Big Data.

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