Over the years, businesses utilized a number of advancements – both technological and industrial, to accelerate their growth and increase their profits. Of all that which businesses have leveraged so far, one particular advancement stands out for its massive potential – Data Analytics.
With extensive data analytics, businesses can uncover valuable insights from the tremendous amounts of seemingly senseless and random data they generate. Armed with this information, organizations can tweak their business strategies for better results.
What makes this ‘big data’ awesome is the fact that it shows great promise for all types of enterprises irrespective of their sizes. Through big data analytics, enterprises can not only increase the revenue generated but also identify security vulnerabilities and gaps in their services and products. Big data is still an evolving technology however, and like every evolving technology, it is also shrouded by a lot of myths and misconceptions.
This blog debunks a few of the most popular myths that deter businesses from checking out big data.
Myth 1: All that matters is size
The first thing that anyone can think of when hearing the term ‘big data’ is the size. As such, there seems to be a myth that the main defining trait of big data is the sheer size or volume of data involved. This is not the case. Though size is certainly one of the main characteristics of big data, it isn’t the only important one.
The volume of data involved demands sufficient storage systems. But big data also requires high velocity data processing mechanisms to deliver relevant, more up-to-date outcomes. The data come from various sources which means the outcome may vary from what was expected. The data being handled by big data should be also be veracious and the insights from these data should provide value.
From all these facts, we can infer the most important traits of big data other than size or volume.
Velocity. Variety. Veracity. Value.
Neglecting these features can result in an improper implementation of big data that can complicate simple solutions and deliver irrelevant results while wasting resources.
Myth 2: Big data is a collection of high quality data waiting to be processed
Big data is a collection of a lot of data sets that can include both relevant and irrelevant data. All that data don’t necessarily have to be of high quality. As a matter of fact, without proper data filtration mechanisms, big data analysis can result in a lot of data quality errors.
Many organizations opt not to clean the data before processing to avoid the hassle of dealing with such large amounts of data. Data cleaning also requires the organization to invest more in big data. This practice most likely ends up with big data failing to do what it’s expected to do. For big data analysis to be effective, the data should be cleaned. This helps the system provide more accurate results.
Myth 3: Big data predictions about a business’ future are highly accurate
This myth is based on the assumption that the volume of big data is directly proportional to the accuracy of big data analysis results. The more data one feeds into the system, the more accurate the results will be. But that’s a myth however. Data certainly hold great value for modern businesses but there are other factors that are just as important if not more.
A big data system will never be able to accurately predict a business’ future by simply analyzing data. Factors like economy, technological advancements, human resources etc. directly influence the success of a business, and data simply won’t be factoring in everything that directly or indirectly influence the business’ success. What big data can do is extrapolate future possibilities by comparing and analyzing historical data.
If the business uses real-time data instead, the system will be delivering predictions based on a probability theory i.e. the results still won’t be certain. However, it’s true that the accuracy of forecasted results will be higher if the data fed are relevant and of good quality.
Myth 4: Big data is expensive
That’s the myth all right. This is the fact – big data ‘was’ expensive. Back when big data started turning heads for its potential, only big organizations and government bodies stepped forward to invest in it. The investments weren’t small either as organizations required large-scale data centers and talented big data professionals to wield big data properly.
But time has changed. As big data garnered praise from all directions, many vendors stepped forward reducing the licensing costs of big data tools and making them much more affordable to small medium-sized businesses. In addition, new tools and techniques are also being introduced to help smaller businesses perform big data analyses.
Myth 5: Big data is centered on machine learning technology
Machine learning certainly is associated with big data. But big data isn’t centered on machine learning. New generation big data analyses make use of complex machine learning algorithms to derive sensible and relevant insights from massive data sets. That’s the whole concept of Machine Learning – using data to uncover information that can help an organization or an individual make meaningful decisions. Both technologies are used in conjunction to deliver expected results. Big data can exist without machine learning.
Myth 6: Big data is all about analytics
What’s strange about big data is that it has multiple definitions, and most of them are accurate. A simple Google search would get you at least a dozen different yet valid definitions of big data from various sources. While some consider it as massive data sets, others see it as an analysis technology that can process massive data sets. The fact is that big data is something much bigger than data analysis with many capabilities to solve a variety of problems with data.
For big data to truly live up to its name in an enterprise, it should be seen as something more than a lot of data being processed. It needs to be managed and overseen by experts who can tell myths from facts.
If your enterprise is planning to leverage big data and is looking for expert guidance or automated solutions, you are at the right place. AOT’s deep expertise in a wide array of technologies including big data and AI/ML can ensure maximum big data ROI. Drop us a message to get started.