“Big Data” refers to the great stream of information in the world economy, increasing every day, which gives rise to the need of storing, analyzing, and management of such data. What has brought about this trend? It’s simple, what used to be considered only a part of business intelligence has established itself as a unique and distinguished field of data. Whereas the first deals with clear problems and finding equally direct and precise solutions to such problems, the latter is a bit more complicated. Big Data involves studying a very vast amount of data and interpreting various aspects of it. It doesn’t answer questions, it in fact tries to bring to the surface what could be the problems through the analysis of the design, pattern, and trend of the available data. It means the use of big data is ever-expanding, more data means more statistically accurate predictions and a better understanding of the relationship between the observed information and its outcome.
Big Data is projected to be a $28.5B market in 2014, growing to $50.1B in 2015 according to Wikkbon. Obviously, it has opened up lucrative opportunities, especially in the Indian economy. In fact, IDC is of the opinion that the challenges of data management and analytics in the intelligent economy are likely to overwhelm organizations that are not conversant with Big Data technologies. It is an established fact that companies that are ready to include this technology will have a clear competitive edge over the others as this will enable them to be better informed and make them more competent to make timely and necessary decisions. In fact, it is true in every industry be it IT, Legal, or other service sectors.
The technology we are talking about here is going to extract the relevant and usable data from a large volume of both viable and junk data out there. This can be a very difficult task given the speed at which data is being uploaded, which highlights the need for specialized technology to handle this kind of information load. The results can make organizations exponentially efficient through legal discovery, advertising analysis, weather forecasting, pricing methodology, fraud detection, monitoring customer behavior and industry inclination, social networking analysis, research, and development; you name it because the list is endless.
The past year has proven to be big for the Big Data industry with many startups, acquisitions and research breakthroughs in this field. While Google acquired London-based startup company DeepMind, Apache Hadoop received a major boost through Hortonworks refinance. A data-driven strategy is the new slogan of businesses today making itself more viable no irrespective of the size of the organization. It is not the question of more data available to the companies but identifying the target data (becoming more customer-centric) and absorbing it into the core decision-making processes. This makes the organization as well as the economy more informed and prepared to both improve its key actions and customer satisfaction. If used correctly, it unveils avenues that had never been exposed before.
It is the digitalization of information that has caused this wave to become so big that it cannot be ignored anymore. Facebook posts, tweets, uploaded videos, satellites gathering information every second, and networked sensors collecting data from smartphones every day are just your regular by-product data that can create amazing predictions. All this has brought about big opportunities for service providers that offer big data and allied services. Though this market is still in its inception, there is no doubt that the scope of growth is tremendous. The challenge is innovation in technology and the creation of new statistical tools that can be customized according to the needs of the organization, across the economy. To conclude let’s not forget that the past year has also been a year of growing concerns over data security. A big business like Sony suffered a breach of hypersensitive internal information while many celebrities were distressed by personal data breaches; making security of data storage and handling a hot topic. This means the service providers have to improve on their security and compliances to gain the trust of their customers as well as attract general positivity from the public.