Big Data in Your Business Model

Published : 11/22/2017 17:50:53
Categories : GoingDigital's

If a farmer tries to estimate the weight of a cow at first glance, he is unlikely to get it right.But if he consults and ponders over it with other farmers, his family and friends, the average of all the weights will be closer to the exact result.With this example, Anna Labarias, from Synergic Partners, begins her talk as part of the programme Big Data for Personalised Medicine, in collaboration with ACES, thus demonstrating the importance of having a varied sample of data in order to better predict a result.


What Do We Mean by Big Data?

"Big Data enables high-speed analysis of a large volume and a wide variety of data". Anna Labarias.

Anna Labarias uses this quotation, extracted from one of the studies by Gartner's technology consulting firm, to define the 3 main characteristics of Big Data (3 Vs):

  • Volume: theamount of data analysed.90% of the data currently available have been generated in the last 2 years thanks to the increase in devices (such as apps, networks or search engines).

  • Variety:multiple formats regarding source and type of data.Data can arrive structured, semi-structured or unstructured, which means new tasks involving analysis and processing.

  • Velocity:speed of loading in ETL processes (extraction, transformation and data loading) and in data processing (consultation and calculation application, among others).


The Importance of Speed and Efficiency in Big Data

Technology helps find correlations much quicker and more efficiently than the human mind.However, questions and interpretation of these operations continue to depend on people, not machines.

Currently, tools have already been developed that enable certain sectors and/or companies to process data, achieving results that seemed unattainable up to now.For example:

  • Criminological algorithms enabling police forces to anticipate the volume of crimes.
  • Tools such as "Google Flu Trend" that, based on Google users' searches related to influenza, helps prevent outbreaks of this illness.


Why Is It Going So Fast?

Imagine that, in order to count the number of inhabitants of Barcelona, each district counted its own. Sants district could only begin to count its inhabitants, once Sarrià district had finished, and so on with the other districts.Now, imagine that each district counted its inhabitants at the same time and, afterwards, added them up.This second method, by proceeding at the same time, will be much faster than the first one.

This simile serves to explain the transformation in data analysis: instead of analysing data in a traditional way, it is done by using a distributed computing architecture, such as the one used in the Hadoop framework.This open-source Amazon software efficiently processes large volumes of data, analysing them simultaneously, not sequentially.


Big Data as an Opportunity and Business Model

The objective of using Big Data is to transform data into relevant information and generate a differential value for the organisation.To this end, a change of perspective is required to move from description (which Business Intelligence is currently doing) to prediction.This will also mean new professional profiles (such as Data Scientist or Data Analyst)and the interaction of the different departments of the company to compile and make the best use of data.

When companies opt for Big Data, it means relying on technology to formulate and answer key questions thanks to the correct interpretation of data and results.As Anna Labarias explains, companies that know how to use data to make better decisions and offer greater value are those achieving success, whereas others are left behind.