Overview of Big Data

September 22, 2022 Shrutika
Reading Time: 11 minutes

What is Data?

The quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by computers, which may be stored and transferred as electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical storage media.

Let’s study the definition of Big Data now.

What is Big Data?

Big Data is a collection of data that is huge in volume and is constantly growing exponentially. No traditional data management systems can effectively store or process this data because of its size and complexity. Big data is a type of data but with huge size.

There have only been five billion gigabytes of data since the beginning of time, in 2003. In 2011, the same amount of data was generated in just two days. It was produced every ten minutes by the year 2013. Thus, it should come as no surprise that 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last few years.

All this data is useful when processed, but it had been in gross neglect before the concept of big data came along.

Why Big Data?

Data has significantly increased as a result of the growth and development of social media, apps, and online shopping. Only social media platforms would interest and attract in over a million users per day, scaling up data more than before. The next concern is how exactly this massive amount of data is managed, processed, and stored. This is where Big Data comes into play.

Additionally, the world of IT has undergone a revolution thanks to Big Data analytics, giving businesses an advantage. Utilizing analytics, cutting-edge technology like machine learning, mining, statistics, and more is part of it. Big data can assist teams and businesses in carrying out numerous tasks on a single platform, storing Tbs of data, processing it beforehand, analyzing all data regardless of size or type, and even visualizing it.

Examples of Big data:

Here are some more examples of how big data is used by organizations:

  • Big data is used by utilities to monitor electrical grids and by oil and gas corporations to locate possible drilling sites and follow pipeline activity in the energy sector.
  • Big data platforms are used by financial services companies for risk management and in-the-moment market data analysis.
  • Big data is used to manage their supply networks and improve delivery routes.
  • Emergency response, crime prevention, and smart city programmes are further government uses.

The evolution of big data

Large data sets have their origins in the 1960s and 1970s, when the world of data was just getting started with the development of the first data centres and the relational database, even though the idea of big data is still a relatively new one.

Around 2005, people started to discover just how much data consumers generated through Facebook, YouTube, and other online services. That same year, Hadoop (an open-source framework designed primarily to store and analyse large data collections) was created. During this period, NoSQL also started to gain popularity.

The growth of big data was dependent on the development of open-source frameworks like Hadoop (and more recently, Spark), which made massive data more manageable and less expensive to keep. Since then, the amount of big data has exponentially increased. Although not just people are producing vast volumes of data, users are still doing so.

The Internet of Things (IoT) has made it possible for more things and devices to be connected to the internet, collecting information on consumer usage trends and product performance. More data has been produced as a result of machine learning.

The Sources of Big Data

  1. Black Box Data -Black Box Data  Voices of the flight crew, microphone recordings, and details of aircraft performance are all included in black box data.
  2. Data from social media- platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ is referred to as social media data.
  3. Data from Stock Exchanges – This information comes from stock exchanges and relates to customer sales and purchases of shares.
  4. Power Grid Data -This data comes from electrical grids. It stores data on specific nodes, such as use details.
  5. Transport Data -This data contain a vehicle’s potential capacity, model, availability, and travel distance.
  6. Data from search engines -One of the most important sources of large data is this. Search engines obtain their data from big databases.

Big Data Types

Following are the types of Big Data:


Structured data refers to any data that can be accessed, processed, and stored in a fixed format. Over time, computer science talent has had more success creating methods for handling this type of data (when the format is fully understood in advance) and also extracting value from it. Today, we are anticipating problems as the size of this data increases significantly; average sizes are now many zettabytes.


Unstructured data is defined as any data with a form or structure that is unknown. Unstructured data presents multiple challenges in terms of processing in order to extract value from it, in addition to its vast size. A heterogeneous data source with a mix of simple text files, photos, movies, etc. is an example of unstructured data in action. Organizations today have access to a large amount of data, but because it is in an unstructured or raw form, they are unable to value-add from it.


Both types of data can be found in semi-structured data. Semi-structured data can appear to be structured, but it is not specified by a relational DBMS’s concept of a table, for example. An XML file containing data is an example of semi-structured data.

Big Data Characteristics

The following characteristics of big data can be used to define it:


Big Data itself refers to a huge size. When determining the value of data, size is an extremely important factor. Additionally, the amount of data will determine whether or not a certain set of data qualifies as big data. Therefore, when working with Big Data solutions, one characteristic that needs to be taken into consideration is “Volume.“


Different sources and types of data, both structured and unstructured, are referred to as variety. In the past, the majority of apps only looked at databases and spreadsheets as sources of data. Today’s analytical software also take into account data in the form of emails, images, videos, monitoring devices, PDFs, audio, etc. These kinds of unstructured data provide challenges for data mining, storage, and analysis.


Data generation speed is referred to as “velocity.” The true potential of the data depends on how quickly it is generated and processed to satisfy requests. Big Data Velocity is concerned with how quickly data is taken from sources such as business processes, application logs, networks, social media platforms, sensors, mobile devices, etc. Massive and constant data flow is present.


This refers to the inconsistency which can be shown by the data at times, thus hampering the process of being able to handle and manage the data effectively.

Read more about GANs

How big data works?

Big data provides you with new perspectives that provide new opportunities and business ideas. Three essential steps are required to begin:

  • Integrate

Bigdata combines data from various unrelated sources and applications. Traditional data integration techniques like extract, transform, and load (ETL) are frequently inadequate for the task. Terabyte- or even petabyte-scale big data analysis calls for innovative approaches and technology.

The data must be brought in, processed, and available in a format that your business analysts can use throughout integration.

  • Manage

Bigdata needs to be stored. Your storage solution may be both on-site and in the cloud. Your data can be stored in any format you like, and you can add your desired processing needs and required process engines to those data sets as needed. Many users base their storage decision on the location of their data at the moment. Because it serves your present computation needs and lets you set up resources as needed, the cloud is steadily gaining appeal.

  • Analyze

When you evaluate and use your data, your investment in big data pays off. A visual study of your various data sets can help you see things more clearly. To discover new information, examine the data in more detail. Inform others about your discoveries. Create data models using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Put your data to use.

Big Data Tools

The technologies designed to be used with big data are constantly evolving and getting better since big data is something that is constantly expanding. Depending on the needs of the organization, tools like Hadoop, Pig, Hive, Cassandra, Spark, Kafka, etc., are used. There are so many options, and many of them are available as open-source software. Many of these Big Data initiatives are also supported by the Apache Software Organization (ASF), another foundation.

We will briefly discuss a couple of those technologies because they are important for Big Data. Apache Hadoop, an open-source framework for storing and processing massive volumes of data, is probably one of the most well-known ones for analyzing Big Data.

Apache Spark is another that is getting more and more attention. Spark’s ability to save a significant portion of the processing data in memory and on the disc, which can be much faster, is one of its merits. Spark is compatible with several different data storing technologies, including Hadoop (Hadoop Distributed File System), Apache Cassandra, OpenStack Swift, and many others. Spark’s ability to run on a single local system, however, is one of its best characteristics because it makes dealing with it so much easier.

Apache Kafka is an additional option that enables customers to publish and listen to real-time data feeds. Kafka’s primary goal is to give streaming data the same level of dependability as previous messaging systems.

Other big data tools are:

Apache Lucene can be used for any recommendation engines because it uses full-text indexing and search software libraries.

Apache Zeppelin is an incubating project that enables interactive data analytics with SQL and other programming languages.

Elasticsearch is more of an enterprise search engine. The best of this solution is that it can generate insights from structured and unstructured data.

TensorFlow is a software library that is gaining more and more attention because it is used for machine learning.

Advantages of Big Data

  1. The modern customer is quite picky. He converses with bystanders on social media and weighs his options before making a purchase. After purchasing a goods, a consumer wants to be acknowledged as an individual and thanks. Big data will provide you with actionable information that you may utilise to interact with your clients directly in the present. Big data makes it possible for you to achieve this by enabling you to instantly examine a customer’s profile and learn more about the product or products they are complaining about. After that, you’ll be able to manage your reputation.
  2. Big data enables you to redesign the goods and services you offer. You can improve your product development by learning what customers think about your products using unstructured social networking site content, for example.
  3. It makes it possible to test various iterations of CAD (computer-aided design) graphics to see how little changes impact your procedure or end result. As a result, big data is quite useful in the manufacturing process.
  4. Utilizing predictive analysis will keep you one step ahead of your competitors. Big data can help with this by, for example, scanning and analyzing news articles and social media feeds. In order to assist you lower risks like default, big data also enables you to perform health checks on your stakeholders, suppliers, and customers.
  5. Bigdata is useful for protecting data. You may map the data landscape of your business with the help of big data tools, which helps the analysis of internal risks. You will be able to see, for instance, whether or not your sensitive information is protected. You will be able to flag the sending or storing of 16-digit numbers, for instance, as a more specific example (which could, potentially, be credit card numbers).
  6. Big-data enables you to diversify your sources of income. Big data analysis can provide trend data that could inspire the creation of an entirely new revenue stream.
  7. It is important for factories because it eliminates the need to replace equipment based on how many months or years it has been in use. Since different parts wear at different rates, this is both expensive and impractical. Big data makes it possible to identify failing equipment and forecast when it needs to be replaced.

Big data challenges

  1. The exponential rise of raw data is one of the problems with big data. The databases and data centres store huge amounts of data, which is still expanding rapidly. The exponential growth of data makes it challenging for organizations to properly store this data.
  2. But simply storing the data is not sufficient. For data to be useful, it must be put to use, and that requires curation. It takes a lot of effort to create clean data, which is data that is pertinent to the client and arranged to allow for insightful analysis. Before data can be used, data scientists must spend between 50 and 80 percent of their time organizing and preparing it.
  3. The next challenge is selecting the appropriate Big Data tool. There are many different Big Data tools, but picking the wrong one might waste your time, effort, and money.
  4. Securing big data is the next challenge. Organizations frequently put off data security because they are preoccupied with comprehending and analyzing the data. As a result, unprotected data eventually becomes a haven for hackers.


  • Big Data definition : Big Data meaning a data that is huge in size. Big data is a term used to describe a collection of data that is huge in size and yet growing exponentially with time.
  • Big data is used by utilities to monitor electrical grids and by oil and gas corporations ,financial services companies for risk management, and by manufacturers and transportation firms
  • We have seen types of big data 1) Structured, 2) Unstructured, 3) Semi-structured
  • Volume, Variety, Velocity, and Variability are few Big Data characteristics
  • In this article we have learned tools of Big data ,advantages and challenges of big data
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Reading Time: 11 minutes


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