By now, you have surely heard the words "Big Data".
The phrase has been said throughout various industries - probably including your own. The term may sound somewhat scary, like some dystopian usurpation of rights and freedoms a la George Orwell's 1984.
Fortunately, the reality of Big Data is not nearly as frightful.
So what's the deal with Big Data?
We live in the era of data collection. Practically every single web-based interaction is now collected, resulting in massive amounts of data.
In the past two years, 90% of all data in the world has been collected, indicating an exponential increase of data gathering.
The amount of data currently being in storage around the world amounts to 8-zettabytes' (that is equal to 8-billion terabytes) worth of information. Right now, all that data is unwieldy, difficult to store, and complicated to process. These problems are on the cusp of being addressed.
Why should we care about Big Data?
Why care? you may ask. The answer is that all that data will change our lives.
Big Data, when used in a meaningful way, will allow rapid access to research materials, medical information, and other information.
Big Data will change the speed at which information exchange happens, and more importantly, how quickly it is can be retrieved.
We will use data to better-understand all sorts of different topics. This means that data science is one of the most rapidly growing roles, in response to the demand for Big Data.
Big Data's benefits for businesses
Since Bright Labs focuses on digital solutions, we can give you a bit of insight on how Big Data can help your business, using an online retail company as the example.
Online merchants make your shopping experience run more smoothly thanks to cookies and sign-ups.
- When you make the first visit to an online retailer, a cookie is used to store information about the items you seek.
- Additional data is recorded when you make a purchase.
- Based on your shopping-related browsing and buying habits, you may receive suggestions about products you might like to buy in the future.
- The process congeals with multi-channel advertising campaigns, email newsletters, and search results to streamline your customer experience, allowing it to present the things you are most interested in.
Big Data makes all of this possible.
Big Data, and its exchange, allows online shopping to become highly relevant. If, for example, you search for a heavy winter jacket during cold weather, data processing allows online stores to save that interest until it is relevant again - next winter.
Big Data is adaptive and responsive to not only your tastes, but also logical parameters established by the retailer.
Big Data is here to stay
Whether you like it or not, Big Data is here for good. Retailers are already keen on the idea of being able to expend their efforts on connecting with consumers in the direct, informed manner that Big Data offers.
Big Data allows businesses to understand their customers individually, though not specifically by name.
This means that businesses get the benefit of spending their advertising dollars wisely, while consumers benefit from personalised shopping experiences that cut right to things they like.
No one can deny that the web is changing, but it is changing to something more purpose-driven and transparent, in a direct response to Big Data - and those things definitely amount to a change for the better.