What is Big Data?

Posted on March 16th, 2015 by Justin Powell in Basics, Technology | Comments Off

One of the biggest tech buzzwords of 2014 caught our attention here at RankRep and we decided to figure out just what exactly was Big Data and why was it was drawing so much attention.

Big Data is essentially a large set of raw data. It doesn’t matter what the data is to be considered Big Data as long as it’s in large quantities. You may be thinking, big deal! Why would a large set of data be in the top 10 of tech buzzwords of 2014? It’s because Big Data is an important term when applied to a method of extrapolating valuable data.

The reason we’re seeing Big Data as a buzzword is because the amount of raw data we produce and collect is exponentially growing every day. Businesses, for the most part, know the value of collecting data but sometimes they can be overwhelmed with the amount of data they collect. Because of this, we’re seeing an emergence of new corporations whose sole purpose is to identify a problem within a business and use their Big Data to fix said problem. These situations are better understood through case by case scenario. While going through various success stories on Big Data extrapolating companies, I found a few scenarios that explain Big Data much better.

Without going too much into detail, the first scenario was about a manufacturing business that sold a popular and necessary home appliance. Their problem was the steady amount of support tickets that would trickle in every day. The support tickets consumed both the support staff and engineer’s time and every case was unique. So, in an effort to reduce these tickets, this manufacturing business called a corporation that specialized in Big Data solutions. They analyzed their problem and found an appropriate method of sorting through the manufacturers Big Data until a solution was found. By utilizing the data that would have otherwise been deemed as useless, the manufacturer cut their support ticket issues by a significant margin just from a few small tweaks in their appliance. They can also make pre-emptive support calls to their customers if they see that their appliance is coming up for a scheduled maintenance check.

The second scenario was based on government public services for prison inmates and the ability to provide the right kind of rehabilitation service to each inmate. “Big Data Solutions Inc.” in this predicament was able to sort out exactly what service each inmate needed based off the success chances of past inmates and which paths of reform they had to follow.

You may be wondering where exactly did this Big Data originate from with both scenarios. The data from the manufacturer scenario was gathered through support ticket feed back, previous service reports, and the reports from customers needing to submit multiple service tickets for the same problem. The prison system got their Big Data set from analyzing their inmates and reports based on previous success rates.

Even though Big Data may seem rather abstract, we can understand that because of Big Data, we can find various solutions to problems that were once thought of unmanageable or unyielding of good results.