How does big data change the business environment?
Big data does comply with every definition of revolution. All of a sudden, everything we knew about analyzing data will need to be revisited – still, that’s what makes it interesting, right?
Below are our top 5 factors through which big data radically changed the game for the better:
- Introducing the need for novel approaches to storing data
- Requiring new means for iterating through data and analyzing it
- Changing the focus from ad hoc queries and simple filters to examining varying in nature datasets of huge amounts of data
- Making the need for instant and real-time updates even more obvious than before
- Forcing us to stray away from the declarative nature of SQL and moving towards procedural languages for more flexibility
How to approach the big data challenge?
Below you can see our selection for the top 3 expert tips for businesses with interest in implementing big data:
- Dimensional thinking
- Stray away from thinking of natural-key terms
- Expect and embrace unstructured data
So first of all, and with a little bit more detail – instead of becoming overwhelmed by the amounts and variety of data, think of it in dimensional terms. While more challenging, thinking of the data as structured is completely possible – all entities you are familiar with are already there – customers, products, services, locations, etc.
It just takes a fair bit of discipline to harness them – and the process of dimensionalization is crucial to your success. For example, while a simple and short post on social media might seem of little value at first, however with the right approach it might lead you to data about a customer, location, product, provider, customer satisfaction rating, demographic cluster, final outcome and who knows what.
With the dimensions already set and agreed on, be wary of “natural keys”. Even the most obvious ones – such as a book’s ISBN number might lead to inconsistencies between systems – we have seen this before even with lower volume, velocity and variety of data, and big data today makes this challenge even more transparent.
Make use of the surrogate keys that come with every solution. This will ensure a conflict-free future for your big data software deployment.
Finally, but probably most importantly – always expect unstructured data.
While the above two are good tools for harnessing the data, here is the reasoning behind it. Big data will often times remain outside of the SQL databases in Hadoop, or grids or some NoSQL implementation. And this is perfectly fine.
The big challenge of integration for such variety also brings bigger benefits. However with the right approach, the proper abstract thinking in order to dimensionalize and identify fields, you are in a good spot. Use it to your advantage.
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BIG DATA NEWS
For those wishing to learn more on the subject, Kimball have recently outlined even more expert tips for:
- Architecture of big data
- Management of big data
- Data modelling of big data
- Data governing
For more information check their document named “Newly emerging best practices for big data“
Also check out BBC news for interesting topics such as:
- The power of Big data
- Using Big data analytics to contain the spread of Ebola
- How is Big data changing lives
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