Big Data – What it is and the three things you need to know

Big data is big news. The recent article by John Jordan of  the Wall Street Journal, The Risks of Big Data for Companies highlights the importance of understanding Big Data and what to do about it. We work with several Big Data programs here at Tiempo Development so I thought I would share a few thoughts.

What is Big Data?

When an organization’s information grows so much and becomes so complex that it is simply impossible to maintain – you have big data. This is the time when you have to think twice about the best strategy to allow your databases to be maintainable in terms of complexity, performance, searchability, sharing and storage.

Big data has created one of the most important areas in artificial intelligence, data mining. Data mining seeks to discover new information in the data using technologies for pattern recognition, artificial visualization and clustering algorithms.
The information then allows us to improve processes, financial reporting, and to discover new business opportunities.

Data mining helps unearth information that would be impossible to discover with traditional methods and tools. For example, mining ten years of financial information will give insight into new information that allows you to discover bad financial patterns over time. With that new information you can take actions to prevent past mistakes and adjust financial behaviors to improve future performance.

A few areas where Tiempo Development is currently helping customers with big data solutions are with e-discovery and with critical data security control. Both cases incorporate artificial intelligence solutions that help our customers succeed in different areas. Our goal is to help customers understand the importance of these technologies to their business, and the impact that migrating to these kind of solutions could have in their financial performance.

Three Things You Need to Know about Big Data

Before embarking on a big data project, there are a few things that we advise our customers to consider. First, they need to know what tools are available, either physical or logical, in terms of maintenance of the data. If the right tools are not available it may be necessary to build a custom solution.  A solid evaluation of the big data or data mining issues they are facing is required before making that decision.

Next, pure big data issues must be approached with a strategy to maintain the vast amounts of existing data that have become so complex that current strategy is no longer effective. Aspects of search, storage, performance and infrastructure have to be included in the development of that strategy. Further, consideration must be made to accommodate ongoing or exponential growth of the data sets.

Finally, it is important to understand business intelligence (BI) solutions, or pure data mining. The goal of BI is to transform raw data into meaningful and actionable information to positively impact business decisions, and to develop new opportunities. BI has been key factor of exponential companies’ growth during the last decade.  While these kinds of solutions represent a high time/resources investment, a company can radically transform  its processes with real traceability, highly improved risk detection and reduced reporting times to zero.