Big Data: What Is It and Why IT Matters

February 11, 2019 Uncategorized

Seventy-nine percent of top executives believe that if Big Data needs are ignored by their organization, their organization will cease to exist.

Big DataWhat is Big Data?

Organizations, whether large or small, produce and consume huge volumes of data and information.  Data is replicating at such a rapid rate that over 90% of the data that exists in the world was created in the last two years. This is why IT matters.

Businesses and organizations are seeing the power of information being leveraged from a variety of internal and external sources including social media, but they struggle to find ways to store, manage, and use the data they acquire.

Now, data and information are shared across industries to aid in identifying target audiences or markets, understand trends, identify needs, innovate and develop products and services to market and sell, define the best methods of delivery, and even distribute medical and educational content.

Growth in the Big Data Industry

The replication and growth of data are exponential as more and more people leverage multiple smart devices that are connected to the Internet. Because data is growing at a rapid pace and organizations see great potential in its benefits and insight, an entire industry has emerged, providing applications and services to make sense of the data explosion. These applications must be supported by infrastructure and finding ways to satisfy organizational demands in the most efficient, effective, and affordable way is perplexing to many IT leaders.

The Big Data industry is projected to grow from $42 billion in 2018 to over $103 billion by 2027.  The majority of top executives across all industries believe that if they aren’t ccollecting data that is relevant to their organization, understanding and leveraging it, they will lose their competitive edge.

Executive commitment to Big Data is so strong that 83% of executive leaders are dedicating more than 20% of their IT resources to Big Data projects. The budgets for Big Data include software, hardware, cloud, and hosting solutions and managed services.

Big Data, Predictive Analytics, and Artificial Intelligence

As the capabilities of IT organizations grow and storage, compute power, and analytical processing increases, the rise of Big Data with the power to not only count, organize, and report on collected information but also to leverage this information to predict future trends and events with tremendous accuracy is occurring at astonishing rates.

Now, because Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning theories are finding their way into everyday enterprise software applications, analytical programs are producing new results “on-the-fly” as the algorithms mimic human reasoning, producing meaningful insights.

Real world examples of how these applications are used include cyber security applications identifying and preventing breaches of an organization’s data, hospitals offering medicine for serious viral or bacterial outbreaks in a high-risk community, and the deployment of public safety functions in the face of an impending disaster, like a hurricane.

The ability to collect, store, process, share, and report on such large volumes of data requires the IT infrastructure to be robust and capable of handling end-user demands.

Big Data’s Demands on IT’s Infrastructure

The demands on IT infrastructure and personnel are enormous. Within data storage alone, there are volume, replication, variety, complexity, and data organization issues.  The storage issues are complicated by velocity – the speed at which the data must be captured, retained, and organized for future use.

Then the memory, processing, and computing requirements can cripple a system, if ill-designed, particularly during peak periods of data collection and reporting demands. There can be no downtime in these applications and storage platforms, requiring constant monitoring and support.

Let’s look at it this way: Google currently processes over 40,000 requests every second. The Weather Channel processes over 18 million forecast requests every minute. People send over 16 million texts every minute, often executing business and financial transactions through these messages. That’s a lot of data!

Addressing the BIG Demands

IT leaders are looking for innovative ways to address these demands and end-user requirements. Big Data provides tremendous value including almost 50% reduction in costs and waste and almost 50% increases to the bottom line due to innovation and research. There are now several options available to IT leaders beyond attempting to scale an organization’s hardware infrastructure on-site and personnel headcount.

Hosted and cloud-based solutions are gaining in popularity as security has improved and costs are becoming more affordable. Hybrid environments that include a combination of cloud and on-premise environments are also popular as hardware, networks, and software become more powerful.

Both of these options as well as the on-premise hardware solutions can be supported through managed service providers at a cost well below that of additional personnel.

Amy Knower joined ABS Technology in 2018 as Director of Sales. Amy is a visionary, dynamic and growth-minded leader to the sales team and organization as a whole; with extensive expertise in providing business, technical and educational leadership.