Big data solutions can help save your company and make you more competitive. However, understanding big data is never easy. We can make it easier for you to understand this technology and hopefully make you comfortable using big data solutions for your business.
There are six Vs that you should know when it comes to big data.
Volume refers to the huge amount of data that is created every second. Volume includes all the tweets, e-mails, photos, data coming from sensors, video clips, and Facebook messages, among other things. The world has stopped thinking in terabytes or petabytes when describing the volume of data created out there. We are now in the era of geopbytes, brontobytes and zettabytes. Brontobyte is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes – that’s 1 with 27 zeros.
It is said that more data is generated every minute now than the combined volume of data generated since the beginning of time through 2008. Traditional database technology simply cannot handle all that data and that is why you need big data solutions to do it.
All of these data are generated at an amazing speed. Everything now works in just seconds, like generating a Google search of billions and billions of pages in just a few seconds, or looking at a sea of bank or financial transactions to check fraudulent ones on a credit card. The good news is that big data solutions allow us to work with and analyze data without using a database.
Variety pertains to the different classes of information that you get and use in big data. We no longer just rely on structured data that we can put into tables or databases. A good majority, or around 80%, of data we have now are unstructured and it is not possible to put these into tables and structured databases. Some data types are simply not meant for databases, such as photos and videos, even social media posts and audio recordings.
Veracity refers to the trustworthiness of the data gathered. There are different kinds of data being collected, and this can lead to you using data that are of lower quality and less accurate. Big data solutions can help you identify and work with different types of data. The volume of data you have can be enough to make up for those low quality and low accuracy data you have in the mix.
All of these big data services are nothing if you cannot turn data into or use them for something valuable for your organization. You could use data to get insights that can help you make a business decision, or you could use data to get to know your customers better and see how they behave. You should be able to present a use case for big data in order for you to justify dabbling in it. If you do not do this, big data initiatives will only fail.
A rather overlooked yet equally important “V” is vulnerability. People are now aware that the data they generate are being collected and are then being used by marketers to understand their behavior and, ultimately, used to sell them different things. It may be that some people are okay with the process but some people see it as an invasion of privacy.
People might have qualms about their data being misused, and it does not help that we often hear about data breaches. These breaches happen even at big companies, where there should have been strong security measures in place.
Data breaches are not only worrisome for the individual but also for the company. Companies using big data solutions lose an average of $4 million when they suffer from a data breach. That is around $158 for every record that is breached, stolen or lost.
According to a Forbes article, there were more than 400 data breaches serious enough in the first six months of 2016. There is also a pressing concern when a huge social media platform gets hacked and sensitive personal information are shared. For instance, the Ashley Madison hack left a lot of people bristling and victimized by poor data security.
Data stewardship is very important in the sense that it can help assure your customers that their data will not be breached, lost, misplaced or misused. In other words, this can help assure them that their personal information and data are safe in your hands.
Vulnerability, unlike the other five Vs, is often overlooked when big data is mentioned. Velocity, volume, veracity, and variety all pertain to the data being gathered, generated, or stored. These variables will not change.
Value, however, is dependent on vulnerability. While your business might have a clear value statement or purpose for the data you gather, your customers will not. They would not readily see why you have to know what they do when they go into your store, or what they buy, when they buy it, or what they do after leaving your store. However, before you can talk to your customers about the value of leaving their data and information with you, you need to assure them first that their personal data is safe with you.
Businesses, therefore, need to place more importance on the sixth V. In reality, however, that is often not discussed when dealing with big data. And you can only secure your customers’ data when you become more aware of the last V.
Businesses need to know the regulations and compliance rules for storing data. But this can be a very dynamic area, so they would need to be able to constantly monitor changes in the rules.
It is also recommended that organizations become transparent with how they use customer data, instead of being secretive or evasive about it.
If you are thinking about using big data solutions, call Four Cornerstone at (817) 377-1144 today. We can act as your big data strategy consulting partner and help you deal with these six Vs! All it takes is a short phone call or you can fill out our online contact form to get started.
Photo courtesy of SUXSIEQ.