Big data is just what it sounds like: very large collections of data that become so complex that simple in-house data management tools have difficulty managing them. These collections of data become so large because they are constantly being expanded. Programs are designed to collect information, and whether that data includes mobile devices, software logs or cameras, as more information is stored in various ways, the data builds. As this data compiles in seemingly limitless fashions, it creates problems for search tools, as well finance and business informatics.
There are thousands of companies whose entire processes and activities exist online. Each process and activity takes data. Think about it: there are some companies whose customers can only order, pay and arrange shipping online. This builds such complex groups of data that a smaller company may quickly have difficulty with the amount of data they collect. How do they effectively search it? How do they design analytics from such massive amounts of information to make themselves more efficient?
A web host is ultimately a datacenter—a location that can store, send and receive data. Big data poses an interesting issue to web hosts: with such large amounts of data being stored, more and more space is continually needed in order to keep the speed high. High powered computing is making this somewhat better, but we’re still in the early stages of that in terms of cloud computing. Speed is everything to a web host: a client wants their site to be fast loading while maintaining dynamic visuals and engaging apps to keep a visitor on the site longer.
Cloud computing works much in the same way that web hosting does: it’s based around a data center. These data centers are, of course, meant to be filled with data. As it stands, space comes at a premium in the cloud. While some space is usually available for free, upping the amount of space you want or need has a cost associated with it. When figuring big data into the equation, space is even more premium.
Big data will also have an effect on how customers interact with businesses. Social media has made customer interaction pretty easy, and data collection through websites and other surfing can provide a company with a significant amount of information about their customer and his or her interests. However, with large amounts of data stored, data retrieval quickly becomes an issue. As more data is stored, it will take longer for the search tool to find specific items relating to one customer, which can make interaction with customers take longer, which makes a customer service team less effective. Customers as a whole may also see a difference in the way a business interacts with them.
From a marketing and advertising standpoint, the data being collected provides the business with prime information to assist them in shopping, though businesses may find that compiling analytics out of such large numbers of data is quite an undertaking. The tools that will be developed by the largest of web companies will become absolutely necessary for even the smallest web-driven companies to function.
About the Author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing on technology and education. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.