Monday, February 9, 2015


OOOOOOooooo, enough is enough. Every website, I get to see BIG DATA, even you are also taking the name here. Can you please explain what is it ?
Big data is very big.

Just this much ??? Can you explain with BIG DATA ?
Well, Big Data is big data that is tough to handle.

Again a one liner ???
Big Data is data that can't be handled with the use of traditional data management systems. 80% - 90% of Big Data contains unstructured data which is tough to analyse.

That means, you can not put them in a relational form.

Wait here, there something more to get into track, the 3V's.

Go On !
Well, Big Data is completely explained through 3 V's (Volume, Velocity, Variety). No one term can define Big Data completely.

OK, sounds awkward, how can data have speed ?
Yes, it can have velocity. Let me explain each term in Big Data way !

Volume: The quantity of Data, that is being stored and processed. For example, a 5 MB photo you upload in Instagram.
Velocity: At the speed data is being added to the digital eco-system. In my earlier article, you got an overview of  it. But to make things more clear, every day 2.9 Quintillion (18 zeros) data is created every day.
Variety: Every day lots of different kind of media is being published in the digital eco-system. The media content can be text, document, binary, image, video or anything it may be.

Let's dig deeper,
  • When we are talking about volume, you can think of what 2.9 Quintillion means.
  • The speed is another key factor of Big Data. Millions of social networking users, billions of machineries create data every second.
  • Almost everything you want to share on Faceboook, may be its a new medal you have own or its a good song you are listening or its a good blog post you are reading. Internet really has become huge information store.
Where the hell this much data coming from ?
There was a time in the earlier 1960's when people used to work on Computers that would cost a building. Then scientists were deployed to process a few bits of information.

Gone are those days. Bid them good bye with advanced computing placed almost in every pocket. Thanks to technology and the era of smartphones.
Yes, we live in better days with lots of facilities brought in hand.

BUT every thing has its own pros and cons. Same is true for technology too. With the advancement of computing the data footprint has gone larger, creating a TSUNAMI of data.

HEY !!! Technology is advancing from almost at the beginning of Human kind. Why now Big Data is here ?
I agree to your point. But dear reader think back, Computers are not so old, so not data. Even in the early days of computing data processing was tough task to do. More than one people would be required to process few bytes of data. Storing the data was a nightmare with Punched Cards and Floppy disk (If you are unaware of these things, I encourage you to quickly perform a Google Search and get the knowledge). It was almost after 1990's when data processing became easier with advanced technologies in place. After that, growth of Internet, advancement in different technology and the reduced cost of hardware evolved the world to produce more and more data. Nowadays, even human is required to create data, data is created  by machines itself.

So we can think in this way,
In the very beginning of computing era only dedicated employees could create data, after that with advancement in place general users were able to create and nowadays machines can create data as well.

Some of the places, where data is created in BIG(Volume, Velocity and Variety) way,
Retailer Database: Like, different shopping malls, online shopping carts etc.
Industry: Logistics, Healthcare, IT etc. Every Industry tracks record of its products, consumers, delivery etc. to facilitate the end user.
Social media and cloud: We become happy to share good news, we are good at gossiping, we get a sigh of relief talking to friend in worse situations, we feel safe uploading our photos on Google Drive/One Drive.  IN A NUTSHELL, WE LOVE TO USE THE SOCIAL MEDIA AND CLOUD.
Internet of Things: Many of today's smart technology gadgets deploy different sensors and are connected to cloud. All these gadgets create data to store different information. Not only that, different satellites deployed around the earth also contribute to the BIG DATA platform.
Scientific Data: Advancement can not be in place if there is no research ongoing. May it be in the field of software, may it be in medical, may be its a toy industry. Whatever it is, there is some research going on and with advance computing, we create data in digital Eco-System.

So, you can get a finer detail why Big Data is today's burning issue and not a decade old problem. If not, I think you should get a coffee and re-read the article from the beginning.

OK, good. Won't it be simple to just delete the data instead of storing ?
Hmm, possibly a good idea but step back. Why do we even bother to delete when we have plenty of resources available to store them ?
Hardware has become very much cost effective these days. Anyone carry more than the amount of music he/she can even listen in one year.
So, data storage is really not a problem in today's world but processing them is a real challenge.

OK, so leave the data in the storage and forget it.
Another brilliant idea but really not appreciated in today's world. We live in Information Era. We can get information on most of the things these days. So, just storing the data and forgetting about it is really not an appreciable solution.

So, what are you going to do with 80% to 90% UNSTRUCTURED DATA ?
What about processing and analysing the data ?

Let's think of WHY first, then WHAT and HOW.
A simple example can put some light. You have 2 students, one is excellent and one is poor. You think of monitoring the poor one and get good routine, nutritious food etc. fr him. This poor student grows and scores well in the next exam.
Have you got the idea ?

OK, you are basically creating Big Data for your poor student and then you process and analyse the big data to get a good result.

Similarly, processing the Big Data, we can get good results.
For example, Google gives search opinion.

Wikipedia gives some interesting stories of Big Data Analysis here.

Well, this depicts the fact and this video depicts the scenario in a more real context.

Next we are going to talk about a bit of processing Big Data. Till then enjoy the videos.
Hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share it with your friends !!!

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Palash Kanti Kundu