Comprehending and demystifying big data

New Update
Data Analytics

By: Anand Sam, Analytics Practice, Blue Star Infotech


Do you get surprised when a representative from a leading telephone carrier suggests you to change your existing billing plan that would help you in economizing your phone usage? Questions like ‘How did he know about how much data my phone consumes? Has someone

been monitoring my phone calls?’ clog your mind. Then you need to know that this isn’t rocket science or a case of espionage. It’s only technology being put to use in business in order to provide convenience to consumers and more revenues to service providers.

As businesses expand so does their data bandwidth; data here is nothing but a record of activities performed by an enterprise. By definition, big data refers to a collection of data sets or information too large and complex to be processed by standard tools. It is the art and science of combining enterprise data, social data, and machine data to derive new insights, which are otherwise not possible.

As a business activity becomes more and more complex, there is an overdose of data which proves to be a hindrance in the flow of operations. At this very point, technology comes to the rescue of every organization burdened with heaps of data but has no knowledge of

it. Through big data technologies and processes, organizations are able to store records in a highly structured format that enhances educated and well-evaluated decision

making capabilities of an organization. Enterprises are able to extract meaningful, commercially fruitful, and consequential information about market trends, customer

preferences, operational costs, value chains, etc. A shining illustration to showcase the significance of big data can be highlighted through how we are helping global

travel companies to aggregate, curate vast amounts of travel data, and present information in a highly structured format, thereby resulting in significant savings.

From phones and credit cards and televisions and computers to the infrastructure of cities and sensor-equipped buildings, trains, buses, planes, bridges, and factories, big data has seen a huge leap forward—every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data—so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.

As important as big data is today, its impact will be even more pronounced in the near future. The big data market is expected to grow to $16.9 bn in 2015. Gartner predicts that the expansion of the information economy will produce 4.4 mn tech jobs globally. This growth will be amplified by a multiplier effect: Each IT job created by big data will generate three more non-IT positions. IDC expects the big data technology and services market

in India to witness a phenomenal compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.3% for the period of 2012–17 to reach $191 mn from $40.7 mn in CY12. The huge growth potential is attributed to the inclination of the business functions to get meaningful insights out of the humongous data in their organizations.


In India, we believe consumer-oriented industries like BFSI, telecom, retail, healthcare, public sector, and manufacturing are among the ones to benefit considerably from big data initiatives. Large organizations in these verticals with investments in analytics have the opportunity to implement platforms that support analysis of both structured and unstructured data.

While MSMEs are potent economic forces, they often miss out on new technology adoption for improved operational efficiency due to the lack of the basic IT infrastructure,

resources, and skilled staff. However, to ensure business sustainability in today’s highly competitive market, MSMEs are looking forward to adopt big data solutions based on cloud platforms. Cloud computing provides the underlying engine to help big data analytics, typically through the use of Hadoop. Because cloud-based infrastructure can be rented as needed, big data has become more affordable for MSMEsin the form of pay-per-use /SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) engagement models.

SMEs dealing with customer data such as financial services, healthcare, and retail are and will invest in big data to understand and serve their customers better. Large banking institutions are also expected to use big data analysis to extract insights around customer behavior on a real-time basis to help them increase revenue, reduce cost, and bring in operational efficiencies.


Technology during the recent years has grown more disruptive with the emergence of Social Media, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC). Gartner expects them to be worth $104 bn, contributing one fourth (26%) of business software revenue by 2017 up from about 10% at present. Clearly, enterprises of different scale and size have begun embracing SMAC considering its evident impact on the lives of people, businesses, entire industries, and even global political realities in a larger context. Big data, Internet of Things (IoT), social collaboration, BYOD, and gamification are some other key trends that will act as catalysts in shaping the future of IT industry. Their acceptance at present remains subjective to large businesses, however going forward, we will witness a sea change in their adoption. Enterprises of all sizes will be riding on the wave of business innovation in both personal

and competitive ecosystems using these technologies.

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