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What is Fast Data? Why is it important?

 

Fast data uses big data analytics for data sets that are smaller.

What makes technology exciting is the fact that it is constantly evolving. For some, this may not be a good thing because of the adjustments they have to apply every now and then. For most people in the industry, though, this is an indication that technology is always improving. Take for example the case of data management.

In the past, managing data was a manual task. We had steel filing cabinets, shelves of folders and books and even boxes of papers. And then the height of the computer era introduced us to floppy disk, CD, DVD, flash drives and other similar devices. The popularity of the Internet also brought about a lot of changes in terms of data management. Today, most enterprises have their own data management systems and majority has turned digital. Most enterprises and institutions now rely on the cloud, a vast online storage universe, in keeping sensitive information safe.

We are now right in the middle of big data technology.

Big Data

Our society today is wrapped up in social media and the Internet in general. Everything that you want to do or find out can be found or accomplished through the Internet. Millions of e-mail messages are sent to and from different parts of the world every day. On Facebook, people post millions of content daily. In the first half of 2013 alone, over 100,000 tweets were posted on Twitter – every minute. Think of how big that number is now! We are definitely a generation that relies a lot on data.

This is why big data analytics figure prominently in our online universe nowadays. Although it can be considered a complex and broad term, big data is a catchphrase that pertains to structured and unstructured data that is so massive that processing it traditionally is quite a challenge.

By utilizing big data analytics, enterprises are able to collect, organize, analyze and process this large data – and making sense out of it. It is valuable to businesses because it can be used to gather information that could be used to improve their products and services, or in making important decisions.

Fast Data

Before big data becomes big and relevant, it has to be fast. If you want to capture data immediately as it arrives, you need to be fast.

Sometimes, finding the value of a massive data can be difficult. This will take up a lot of your time. As such, it is also important to consider not only the volume but also the speed of data. This is what “fast data” is all about.

Simply put, fast data uses big data analytics for data sets that are smaller. This is done in real-time (or near real-time), so enterprises are able to get information in the fastest time possible. If you are fond of streaming movies or TV shows on your computer, just imagine yourself doing that – and you’ll have an idea of how fast “fast data” is.

Why is Fast Data Important?

As previously stated, data has to be fast before it can become big. Otherwise, the intention of gathering useful information that you can analyze and process will be all for nothing. Streaming data is one of the best ways to come up with timely and well-informed decisions.

Fast data is valuable if you want your business to stand out from the competition. Getting exclusive information about what is important for your products and services will help you gain an edge.

Generally, though, the aim of fast data is really to gather and analyze, in the fastest time possible, structured and unstructured data. This is essential especially since enterprises often deal with a large volume of data, which can sometimes be difficult to identify and understand. Moreover, you’ll be able to easily determine which ones are more important and time-sensitive, so that the action needed can be applied immediately.

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Fast Data and Big Data

Fast data and big data work together to bring improvements and changes to various business sectors. The financial and banking, retail, advertising, and telecoms industries can benefit a lot from this. Even gamers will enjoy some advantages; with fast data and big data, interacting with streams of data becomes simpler.

This will also help improve customer relations and improve business value. With the right data collected and analyzed in real-time, it will be easier to take note of and attend to customer-related concerns. This raises the level of customer satisfaction. Your business will be able to generate positive reviews from customers, which can then lead to more production and profit-related success.

Security and Reliability

Now that we have a basic understanding of what fast data can do, we need to deal with the next question. Is it possible to securely and seamlessly gather and process real-time data?

While it may be difficult to give a 100% sure answer to this question, there are possible things that can be done about this. Initially, though, the initiative has to come from the enterprise. Everyone in the company needs to understand the value of big data and fast data. Come up with a company-wide learning program that will include non-IT personnel. For efficient and fast data management, it is essential that all team members fully understand the objectives and goal. This is also one way of keeping the system safe and secure.

Another possible action that can be done is fault-tolerant computing. In this scenario, computing is distributed so that in case one of the computers breaks down, another computer can continue the job. This way, the process becomes more seamless. Additionally, you are assured that your most sensitive and valuable information do not get lost.

Conclusion

We are now in a fast moving digital world. A world where new developments constantly crop up. A world where information moves faster than a blink of an eye. This is why fast data is important. With real-time data, there is no need to keep running just so you can catch up with the rest of the pack.

Photo courtesy of aglet.

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