There are lots of buzz words being thrown around these days in the technology space. One of these is “Big Data” and the name doesn’t leave much to imagination. As corporations try to absorb as much consumer information as possible, the amount of data being stored in cyberspace truly boggles the mind. But what do we do with this data?
The key to taking advantage of these massive data sets is analytics. Businesses attempt to analyze Big Data in order to reveal trends, patterns, and relationships to improve decision making. It’s all about finding value and uncovering stories within these robust data clusters. Today, big data is collected from user behavior, engagement tacking, purchasing habits, and user preferences, among many other categories. Social media, the Internet of Things, communication services, and more create truck loads after truck loads of data, all ready for processing in all types of formats at virtually every second of the day. The problem is that many traditional data analytics software are unable to process big data and companies are running out of room to store it. Cloud data storage and cloud computing have proven to be the only solution the data dilemma.
The Cloud plays an enormous role in big data from both a storage and analysis standpoint. With big data, storage in the form of tapes and disks just doesn’t cut it anymore. The sheer volume of data means it would take hundreds of warehouses to store physical tapes. In the Cloud, your business can store its data off-premise in a Cloud provider’s remote data center. You get an increase in flexibility to scale by adding or subtracting storage depending on fluctuations in data demands. Also, Cloud storage, in many cases, presents data compliance solutions to businesses in data-sensitive industries that are also more than likely collecting big data.
Big data relies on Cloud computing to find trends and patterns for improved decision making. At its base, cloud computing is the sharing of computing infrastructure or software instead of consuming that infrastructure as a product on your local computer or local servers. It involves accessing software and data analysis platforms over a network, usually the internet, instead of deploying these platforms locally on your computer’s hard drive or business’ own servers. Computing power is “on demand” in the Cloud and easily provisioned to end users anytime, anywhere with network or internet access.
In the Cloud, businesses can pull data from several different departments in a quick, timely manner. Deciphering trends in big data is treated as a hurried process for most businesses.
Data that’s days or even just a couple hours old could lead to late decision making and subsequent losses. Sales data, marketing data, inventory, call centers, and other departments can all exchange data and compile it all via the Cloud. Then, analyzing that data can be facilitated by cloud platforms accessed over the internet or network. Once value is extracted from that data, those insights can be shared across departments because access is made easier via Cloud applications.
Think about big data as content and cloud computing as the infrastructure used to analyze that content. Big data holds the key to the consumer mind. Hosting this data in a Cloud environment gives data scientists the ability to operate with greater efficiency, allows cross-departmental data sharing, and removes the need for expensive upfront costs of data storage. Big data is quite literally massive, but the Cloud can be infinite!