Just what is Big Data?

By: John Flower
Tag(s): Data
Published: Jan 16, 2018
Just what is Big Data?

Big data is the next step beyond traditional data warehouse and business intelligence solutions. These tools have largely focused on analysing structured data from transactional systems – and only a subset of that data, when you take a closer look. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review in April 2017, less than 50% of the structured data we're collecting is used to make business decisions and just 1% of unstructured data.

With Big Data, you can finally start making more sense of the data you collect, as well as enriching it with data from external sources. You'll also be well-placed to gain insights from the avalanche of new data that's now being generated, from web logs and social media interactions to video, images and data from the Internet of Things.

Why have businesses been able to make this step change in terms of both the volume and variety of data they can analyse, and the speed with which it can be processed? It's thanks to the availability of highly scalable but affordable cloud computing. This provides the computing power, storage and network connectivity to:

  • combine, clean, transform and query massive amounts of data coming from different sources and storage systems, without necessarily copying it across from its original source
  • process data which is arriving continuously but at a variable rate and which is sometimes delayed – for example, if a mobile app user goes out of cell phone range but is still using the app
  • experiment with possible applications without needing to make a large upfront investment in infrastructure
  • give data scientists and business users tools that are optimised for exploring ideas and insights, rather than ones that are optimised for the execution engines handling these massive queries
  • minimise processing time, so you can iteratively develop your insights rather than trying to figure out the perfect query from the start

Big Data projects running on the Google Cloud Platform are already helping numerous companies, For example, payment processor WePay is using Big Data to detect fraud as it's happening. Pizza delivery chain Domino's is using it to increase revenues while reducing ad spend, by better understanding customer behaviour.

Working with a Google Cloud Platform Premier Partner

As a leading Google Cloud Service Partner, we have considerable experience with Google Cloud Platform, both assisting clients to future proof their business with cloud infrastructure.

Cloud adoption is not just about agility and cost optimisation — it’s about building the very foundations you need to continuously innovate and stay ahead. A cloud-first architecture using Google Cloud Platform not only modernises your infrastructure but unlocks a whole new world of digital freedom and opportunity.

Our onboarding methodology will help you realise value in weeks, not months so you can save costs and increase agility.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help you, why not take a look at some of our customer success stories or talk to the experts in our Google Cloud Platform team.

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