What is Big Data?

John Smith

In recent years the words ‘Big Data’ have become increasingly prevalent in business, but what is big data and is it worth the hype?

Big data refers to extremely large data sets that can be analysed by computers to reveal patterns.  These patterns can then be used for inform business decisions and improve strategic direction. Big data is the term used when traditional processing systems cannot deal with a data set due to the huge volume. Sometimes too much data is a problem. But big data allows organisations (through data scientists) to extract business value from user behaviours.

On a daily basis every organisation is inundated with information. This can be both structured and unstructured and some of it may not be useful. Depending on the industry, big data can include transactions, social media, sensors, mobile devices and engagement content.  However, while many organisations receive information on their customers, their behaviours and needs, without big data, they have no process to use this information to their advantage.

One of the first commercial uses of big data was the Tesco Clubcard and is a perfect example of the how business are using customer data for commercial gain. Supermarkets have large data sets of all products by their customer base, by introducing big data in the form of a loyalty card scheme they can connect each individual customer to their purchases. This connection allows the organisation to significantly improve their targeting of their advertising. The products you buy regularly gives the organisation an insight into your lifestyle and allows them to build a tailored package of advertising to match this. This increases the efficiency and therefore cost effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.

Big data is changing the way everyone does business. With technology advancing quicker than ever, companies in all industries are able to analyse data in faster and more reliable ways than ever. FDM’s data scientists are working with clients around the globe to help find real business solutions in numbers every day.

If you’re interested in working with FDM, or want to start a new and exciting career as a data scientist, visit our careers pages today.

Featured image credit: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash 

Updated 21 May, 2019