Technology today is capable of collecting more data than most companies even know what to do with—is your business taking advantage of these big data technologies?

We are surrounded by highly sophisticated and advanced technology—everything from wearable medical devices to connected cars. And these technologies are constantly collecting and gathering data for companies and businesses around the world. The vast amounts of big data that companies now have access to is remarkable, yet most aren’t sure what to do with all this information.

What separates the leaders from the stragglers in business is how companies currently handle their data. There are tremendous advantages to using big data and it can affect everything from your day-to-day processes to your bottom line. You can use big data to find weaknesses in your competitor’s offerings or use data to understand your customers better than they may even know themselves. Additional examples of the incredible ways in which we can use big data include:

  • Web retailers can identify trends in their users and target them with specific campaigns.
  • Doctors can leverage data to find cures for or find ways to prevent diseases.
  • Oil companies can leverage the information collected by sensors to avoid spills/contamination.

In 2012, Facebook shared that it collects about 500 terabytes of big data a day—just imagine what they can do with all that collected information. With those massive amounts of data, the advertising potential and insight into consumer base is almost too much to even fathom—yet, having a big data strategy is an absolute must.

Analyze, visualize, and manage

  • How can we analyze this information?
    It’s important to have meaningful interpretations of data trends. Having a team to analyze the data will bring valuable insight about the information your company is collecting.
  • How can we visualize the data?
    Visualization is a must for big data. You want to be able to summarize and bring this data to a high level for executives to make informative decisions. Visualization also allows analysts to dig deeper into the data to find trends and anomalies to act upon.
  • How can we store and manage it in an organized way?
    Your teams must be able to have quick access to reports and trends that they can pull together in an instant. For this, data visualization dashboards are a useful tool.

When you sit down to answer these three questions, what you’ll wind up with is a big data strategy. With the outline of a strategy in place, the next step is to determine which big data technologies will support your plans.

The leading technologies

There are a few big data technologies that currently stand out as leaders. These tools are built to manage large and rapidly growing data sets, and are built to handle different data formats. They can also adapt to format changes. Some of the supporting technology leaders include:

  • NoSQL
    This technology claims that its next generation databases are non-relational, distributed, open-source and horizontally scalable.
  • MPP Databases
    MPP, which stands for massively parallel processing, is the coordinated processing of a program by multiple processors that work on different parts of the program, with each processor using its own operating system and memory.
  • Apache™ Hadoop®
    This open-source software is made for reliable, scalable, distributed computing.

How to support big data

Some recommendations for supporting information is to use a combination of the leading big data technologies to be deployed together. When you leverage these technologies, big data can be analyzed, visualized, and managed to provide benefits to the companies with large amounts of data.

No matter which way you slice, big data can transform your business—and the capabilities of current technology are only making it easier to take full advantage.