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What Is Big Data And Why Is It Important? – Purdue Krannert

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Student analyzing data to gain valuable insights.

Have you heard the term “big data” and wondered what it meant? Career opportunities in big data are growing. Universities are offering business analytics and information management (BAIM) programs to prepare professionals to enter the field.

What Is Big Data?

While the term is new, the concept of gathering, storing, and analyzing large amounts of data has been around for years. Big data is defined as “data that contains greater variety arriving in increasing volumes and with ever-higher velocity.”

Those three Vs — variety, volume, and velocity — are an important part of distinguishing big data from other data gathering, storing, and analyzing processes.

The Three Vs of Big Data

1. Variety

In big data, there are a variety of sources that are used to find valuable information. Examples include text documents, emails, financial transactions, and audio and video files.

2. Volume

More than ever, we are creating and storing massive amounts of information. Processing high volumes of data is a trait of big data. Depending on the size of the business and the amount of data available, an organization could have tens of terabytes of data or even hundreds of petabytes.

3. Velocity

With this large amount of data and no slowing in sight for acquiring additional data, there has to be near-real time evaluation and action in big data.

What Can Companies Do With Big Data?

When an organization analyzes big data, they can find answers that help them:

  •        Retain and acquire customers 
  •        Reduce costs and time
  •        Create new products and services
  •        Make astute decisions
  •        Offer customer suggestions for additional relevant products and services
  •        Increase the efficiency of their supply chain
  •        Avoid and manage risk

 Real-World Examples of Brands Using Big Data

  •        Target analyzes shopping patterns to predict when a customer may be pregnant. They use this information to send baby-related product coupons and offers to the customer.
  •        Netflix uses big data to formulate title suggestions for viewers to watch next.
  •        UOB Bank uses big data to reduce the calculation time in their risk management system.
  •        Costco used big data to warn applicable customers about a possible listeria contamination. Instead of sending a blanket message to all of their customers, they sent the message to the customers that bought the particular fruit.

 Big Data Job Industry 

To stay competitive, organizations are hiring big data professionals. These professionals gather data, analyze it, secure it, and provide recommendations off of insights found.

 Examples of big data job roles include:

  •        Data Scientist: Gathers, processes, and analyzes data (holds the top spot on Glassdoor’s 50 Best Jobs in America list)
  •        Business Intelligence Analyst (BIA): Uses data and trends to make recommendations
  •        Database Developer: Improves and maintains databases to organize data
  •        Database Administrator: Sets up, maintains, and secures databases
  •        Data Engineer: Designs and builds programs that create data sets
  •        Data Analytics Manager: Analyzes data and communicates insights
  •        Data Security Administrator: Involved with all security measures to keep data secure

Big Data Education Programs 
With this growing industry, many schools are offering business analytics and information management (BAIM) programs to prepare professionals.

The BAIM program curriculum at Krannert includes significant Statistical Analysis System (SAS) modeling and usage and covers topics like data analytics and gamification.

If you want more information on what big data is or want to know the difference between big data and data science, visit this website for more information.

Do you think a career in big data would be the right career move for you? Our 11-month MS BAIM program can get you there.