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What is Big Data?

By Scott Max

The businesses of the 21st century coexist with a huge amount of data. The problem is that this data is both structured and unstructured: Welcome to the jungle! The Big Data tries to make sense of that huge mass of data, sorting it out and studying it to get ideas that will lead to better business moves.

This video will help explain:

Therefore, the Big Data is a reference point for many companies. The answers to all those questions that have always been asked (and those that have not yet been asked) are in the Big Data. Its study and analysis helps businesses to leverage their data to identify new opportunities.

Real examples of good use of Big Data

Do you know the movie "Moneyball”? (Yes, it stars Brad Pitt). It tells how the general manager of the Oakland Athletics (MLB) along with a young economist revolutionized the world of baseball in 2002. They began hiring underrated, but economically profitable, players. Thus the wisdom of scouts was replaced by studies of statistics and numbers. Something very similar to what the modest Leicester City did in the 2015/2016 season when it won the Premier League.

Another example of good use of Big Data is Target, a chain of department stores in the United States. This is a great example of a company that has perfectly understood the purchasing behavior of its customers. Each one was assigned an ID associated with their credit cards in order to study their purchase data and later offer them discount coupons on products that the customer already knew. What's more, Target even sends out discount coupons on products just when they are about to run out, such as shampoo or shower gel.

They realized that there were certain behaviors that were repeated in women during their first trimester of pregnancy. According to Target, if a girl buys cocoa cream lotion, large bags, zinc or magnesium supplements, etc. she has an 87% chance of being pregnant. So, they started sending discount coupons for baby clothes and cribs to women who had just become pregnant. The magic of Big Data.

Most common further questions:

How is big data collected?

There are essentially three different methods: 

  • By asking customers for it directly 
  • indirectly tracking customers, 
  • acquiring it from other companies. 

Most companies will be asking customers directly for data or permission to harvest data at some point – usually early on, and usually with a very easy to click “accept all” button on a popup.

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