Let us continue to look at Big Data beyond the hype, by understanding two things – types of data that we deal with and need for change in the approach to deal with them.
Types of Data
We spend most of our time than ever, on our mobile devices – Mobile Phones, Tablets and traditions forms – Laptops, Desktops etc. Then you have other forms of electronic devices such as Nest, Internet Televisions etc. which are data driven and getting smarter by the day to give us a “integrated experience”. All of them are inter-connected consuming ton of information on the Internet – tons of different types of information. We use our phones with apps (or applications) to listen to songs, to catch up on movie trailers, to turn on our cars’ air conditioner before we get in and to even control heaters at home based on consumption and usage patterns.
Data from these can be classified broadly to have the following characteristics – Volume, Velocity and Variety or 3V’s
- Volume refers to the large amount of information collected and that we have to deal with – in Gigabytes, Terabytes or Petabytes
- Velocity refers to the streaming aspect of such information – Streaming data
- Variety refers to the different types of information – Comments on Social Networks to Readings from room heaters to Blogs
One could think about these and ask “Have we not been dealing with them already, what is new now?”
It is akin to the question “I have been using mobile phones for a long time, what is special and different about iPhone?”
When you have to deal with data which has the above characteristics, the approach that you have used so far, dealing with them in a small or restricted scale are no longer applicable or they need to be revisited. As volume grows, as variety of data flows in – approaches have to change as well.
Just as one would seek an iPhone for its rich user experience, big app ecosystem, powered by unparalleled technological innovation, a CIO of Data Manager would seek solutions that are driven by innovations in managing such data and to drive value of them. And that is the case for Big Data solutions. We will explore more on 3V’s in the next part.