All the main things about Big Data

What's a Big Data and where it starts. Terms and technologies used in Big Data. How Big Data can be used for commercial purposes.

What is Big data, how it works, and why everyone carries for data as for the apple of one's eye: Rusbase put it simply for those who are behind the times.

What is Big data

Only the lazy one doesn't talk about Big data, but he hardly understands what it is and how it works. Let's start with the simplest thing - terminology. Speaking Russian, Big Data is a variety of tools, approaches, and methods for processing both structured and unstructured data to use it for specific tasks and purposes.

Unstructured data are information that does not have a predetermined structure or is not organized in a certain order.

The term "big data" was introduced by Nature's editor Clifford Lynch back in 2008 in a special edition on the explosive growth of the world's volumes of information. Though the big data itself has existed before. Most data flows exceeding 100 Gb per day fall into the Big Data category, according to experts.

Today only two words are hidden under this simple term - data storage and processing.

Big data - in simple terms

In today's world, Big data is a socio-economic phenomenon, which is associated with the emergence of new technological capabilities for the analysis of huge amounts of data.

To understand it easily, imagine a supermarket where all the goods are not in the order you are used to. Bread next to fruits, tomato paste next to frozen pizza, liquid for burning in front of a rack with tampons on which among others there is an avocado, tofu, or shiitake mushrooms. Big data puts everything in its place and helps you to find nut milk, find out the cost and expiration date, and who else but you buy this milk and whether it is better than cow's milk.

Big data technology

Large numbers of data are processed so that people can get the specific and appropriate results for their further use. Big data is a problem-solving and alternative to traditional data management systems.

Specifications and analysis methods for Big Data by McKinsey:

  • Data Mining;
  • Crowdsourcing;
  • Data Mixing and Integration;
  • Machine learning;
  • Artificial neural networks;
  • Pattern recognition;
  • Predictive analytics;
  • Imitation modeling;
  • Spatial analysis;
  • Statistical analysis;
  • Analytical data visualization.

A horizontal scalability, which provides data processing - the basic principle of processing large amounts of data. Data is distributed to computing nodes and processing is performed with no performance degradation. McKinsey has also included relational management systems and Business Intelligence in the context of applicability.


  • NoSQL;
  • MapReduce;
  • Hadoop;
  • R;
  • Hardware solutions.

For large data, we distinguish the traditional defining characteristics, developed by Meta Group since 2001, which are called "Three V":

  1. Volume is the value of physical size.
  2. Velocity - the speed of growth and the need to quickly process data to obtain results.
  3. Variety - the ability to simultaneously process different types of data.

Big data: usage and capabilities

Volumes of heterogeneous and rapidly incoming digital information cannot be processed with traditional tools. The analysis of data itself allows us to see certain and imperceptible regularities that cannot be seen by a human. This allows us to optimize all spheres of our life - from public administration to production and telecommunications.

For example, some companies just a few years ago protected their clients from fraud, and taking care of client's money - is taking care of their own.

Big data in the world

According to IBS, by 2003 the world had accumulated 5 exabytes of data (1 EB = 1 billion gigabytes). By 2008 this volume increased to 0.18 zettabytes (1 ZB = 1,024 exabytes), by 2011 - to 1.76 zettabytes, by 2013 - to 4.4 zettabytes. In May 2015, the global data quantity exceeded 6.5 zettabytes.

By 2020, it is expected that mankind will form 40-44 zettabytes of information. And by 2025 it will grow by 10 times, according to the report The Data Age 2025, which was prepared by analysts of IDC. The report notes that most of the data will be generated by businesses themselves, rather than by ordinary consumers.

The research analysts believe that data will be a vital asset and security will be a critical foundation in life. The authors also believe that the technology will change the economic landscape, and the average user will communicate with connected devices about 4,800 times a day.

Big data in business

To optimize costs, the world's largest steel producer “Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works” implemented Big data. At the end of last year, they introduced a service called "Sniper", which optimizes the consumption of ferroalloys and other materials in production. The service processes data and provides recommendations to save money on steel production.

Big data and the future is one of the hottest topics to discuss because information is at the heart of the business. The idea is to "feed" a computer with a large amount of data and force it to find typical algorithms that a person can't see or to make decisions based on a percentage of probability on a scale that a person can handle perfectly, but that hasn't been available to machines until now, or perhaps one day on a scale that a person can never handle.

To optimize its business processes, “Surgutneftegas” used an “in-memory” data and application platform known as SAP HANA, which helps to run business in real-time. The platform automates product accounting, price calculation, provides employees with information and saves hardware resources. 

Big data in marketing

Thanks to Big data, marketers have an excellent tool that not only helps with their work but also forecasts the results. For example, with the help of data analysis, it is possible to display advertisements only to the target public, based on the RTB auction model.

Big data allows marketers to know their customers and attract new target audiences, assess customer satisfaction, apply new ways to increase customer loyalty, and implement projects that will be in demand.

Google service. Trends will help you if you need a forecast of seasonal demand activity. All you need to do is to compare the information with the site and make a plan of advertising budget distribution.

Will big data change the world?

We can't escape technological progress. Big data is already changing the world, slowly seeping into our cities, houses, apartments, and gadgets. How quickly technology will take over the planet is hard to say. One thing is certain - go with the trend or die backward.