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What is Big Data? Discover how to use data in your company!

The concept of Big Data may seem complicated. But, it boils down to the giant and complex set of data and information present in companies' databases. In today's article, discover the answer to the question: what Big Data is and how to use it beneficially?

To give you an idea, New York Stock Exchange Technologies receives between four and five terabytes of data every day!

So, companies filter and use this enormous volume of data for market analysis and surveillance, among other activities.

The question that arises is: what is Big Data, and what do we do with the data generated and stored on the servers?

What is Big Data?

As we said at the beginning of this text, Big data refers to the large, fast, and complex body of data stored in companies daily.

Because of its volume, no traditional data processing software can manage it. But this does not mean that it is impossible to process the information.

Does your company want to increase a determined product sales volume? One way to do such is by data analysis on consumer behavior for similar products.

It's all about how we can use the data that matters.

The three V's

Now that you know what big data is, we introduce the three V's. The definition of Big Data stands out for three characteristics:

Volume - As the name implies, Big Data is the volume of data processed by the data centers. The amount of data processed may depend on the company's size. The data volume determines whether it can be part of Big Data or not.

Velocity - Nowadays, data is created, received, and processed at an unimaginable speed. Data velocity is increasing, even more so with the growth of the Internet of Things, whose devices can transmit data in real-time.

Variety - Data can arrive at servers in three formats: structure, semi-structure, or unstructured data.

There are two other characteristics to take into consideration: variability and veracity.

The first relates to data flow management, which can be unpredictable. The second refers to the quality and authenticity of the data that arrive in huge quantities.

Types of Big Data

The data that floods enterprises are not all the same. Thus, there are three types of Big Data.

Structured Data

This category includes all data stored, processed, and accessed in a fixed format.

So, this type of data is recognizable by databases and facilitates their analysis and processing.

It usually derives from the interaction between user and machine. For example, user logins might be structured data. It can also be statistics, barcodes, or point-of-sale data.

Unstructured data

As the name implies, data that arrives in unknown structures or raw form belongs to this category.

Unstructured data don't have a predefined data model or arrive in databases in complex formatting that is difficult to process.

It can be a combination of text files, images, and videos. It can also be Twitter threads, social media posts, emails, or metadata from blogs.

Semi-structured data

In this category is data that can contain both forms. They have a form and have some characteristics.

However, they do not conform to the rigid structures of relational databases or other forms of data tables.

This type of data has organizational properties such as semantic tags or metadata, which help in management.

Semi-structured databases have the information stored and manipulated in XML format.

This combination of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data can be extracted, analyzed, and used to improve strategic decisions, movements, and other operations. Let's see!

Importance of Big Data for businesses

We have already been lifting the veil on the potential of Big Data. So, let's take a closer look and understand why it can benefit businesses.

It doesn't matter how much data you obtain, but how it is handled and used.

Remember that because Big Data is so diverse, it becomes extremely complex. Systems capable of processing and storing amounts of data are required.

The data collected and analyzed can generate useful information to determine flaws, anomalies, or weaknesses.

Therefore, the results of data analysis can identify patterns and trends, answer questions and queries, gain customer insights, and solve complex problems.


Among the key benefits of Big Data are:

  • optimizing efficiency of operations
  • improved product development
  • improvement of user experience
  • possibility to generate more revenue and growth.

Data is everywhere, from your smartphone, website applications, or the smart fridge at home.

In conclusion, you can grow your business with a refined analysis of the proper data. Don't miss the opportunity to grow your company.

Read more in our blog about other strategies, software, or trends that can help you grow in the market.

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