Data Analysis seems to be everywhere you look in the software development business. It is a valuable tool for every development process step. Its benefits go over even after delivering the final product. That's why, in this article, we'll look into two related topics. These will be Big Data and Data-Driven approaches in Software Development. We'll give you an overview of both concepts, delving into their benefits and relevance. Then, we'll look at Big Data applications, how Big Data and AI relate, and how to develop a data-driven mindset. Finally, we'll examine the significance of Big Data and Data-Driven approaches.
The term "Big Data" is pretty straightforward. It refers to extracting meaningful insights by analyzing massive, complex data collections. This amount of data usually exceeds the traditional database software's analysis. Let's take a look at its main characteristics!
This characteristic refers to the size of the data. Often, its measurement is in terabytes, petabytes, and exabytes. In 1999, one gigabyte of data was enough to get the name Big Data! But, as you can imagine, that's no longer the case. Today, it should be more significant than terabytes and petabytes.
The value of Big Data stems from insight discovery and pattern recognition. To achieve this, large amounts of data go through processing protocols. These rules lead to higher efficiency, better customer relations, and other business benefits. That’s to say, Big Data adds a lot of value.
Big Data is quite diverse, including different types of data. Some examples include unstructured, semi-structured, raw, and dense data.
Big Data's velocity applies to the speed at which information gets accumulated. This, understandably, can be very high. So, it won't be as valuable as possible if you can't process considerable amounts of data fast enough.
This quality relates to how reliable or accurate the data is. Given the large amounts of data, this can be the most challenging part to control.
Big data offers benefits at every level, from IT to business to enterprise level. Let’s look at other varied benefits big data brings to the table.
Big Data tools reduce storage costs and save time on data analysis. For instance, the analyzed data translates to a better understanding of market conditions. As a result, you'll be able to make good decisions faster. Also, it helps to develop and market innovative products and services. Other benefits include boosts in customer acquisition and retention. Overall, we'd say big data is so important for many reasons.
Data is everyone around us, but sometimes it is challenging to realize its scope. For example, we generate about 1.7MB of new data per second. Also, there are over 50 billion smart devices around the world. These can create and analyze data. If that sounds too vague, below are some of the primary sources of Big Data.
With a large percentage of the world’s population using social media, this is a major data source. Every photo or video upload, every comment, and every message you send creates data. The result is massive, considering Facebook, TikTok, or Instagram users.
Many cities have equipment with sensors to collect data on various weather factors. Some of them include temperature and humidity. Also, traffic and security cameras may collect other data types. The amount of data gets pretty high when you add locations and cities.
The number of appliances connected to the internet is increasing. This rise of smart devices receives the name the Internet of Things. These products also collect and store data. Some devices include Smart TVs, Smart Printers, and Smart Coffee Makers.
How many times did you get asked for feedback after acquiring a service or product? Even though not everyone provides it, it’s safe to say those who do amount to quite a large number. For example, Airbnb may ask you about the features of the flat you stayed at. In this scenario, retailers ask for different details of the purchase. These can include the time of delivery and the state of the packages. Other instances include telecommunications companies asking for feedback on their services.
Financial transactions have records. Whether it’s an eCommerce transaction, banking, or a business one, there will be data behind it. Credit cards, debit cards, or any other type of electronic payment also generate the data.
These are only a handful of examples. Medical records, GPS, emails, documents, mobile apps, and system logs are available. The list is endless!
Now that we know where big data comes from, let’s see its use. From what we’ve seen so far, one might understand that big data is only a way for businesses to make money. Yet, this information gets used for a wide variety of applications. These can result in long-term benefits for everyone. Let’s look at some of them!
Hospitals can use patient data for evidence-based medicine. As a result, this saves time and money in tests and reaches diagnosis in less time. Further, patient data can predict the progress of a patient’s condition.
Telecommunications and entertainment companies use data to solve problems. Some of these include creating data for specific audiences and recommending content. This practice is common in big platforms like Netflix or Spotify.
Big Data gets fantastic usage to manage traffic in cities where congestion is a big issue. Consequently, traffic management means better efficiency and livability within high congestion levels.
Here, Big Data reduces product defects, improves quality, and increases efficiency. Not to mention, it saves time and money. Moreover, it's helpful for shipment data, demand forecasting, and advanced robotics in manufacturing.
Research is one of the most well-known Big Data applications. When using Google or other Search Engines, data gets used to improve results. In turn, the search quality will improve the next time we use it.
Many people have questions about the relationship between Big Data and AI. In this context, AI uses data to improve, and the more considerable the amount of data, the better. So, Big Data plays a crucial role in Artificial Intelligence's results accuracy. Yet, the relationship between Big Data and AI goes the other way. This means that Artificial Intelligence is necessary to process these amounts of data. As a result, Big Data and AI have a symbiotic relationship. Moreover, it's expected this bond will lead to AI feeding Big Data to itself. At the same time, it will make data analytics less labor-intensive. Not too far from now, we'll see Big Data and AI combinations making our lives easier.
Data-Driven approaches are those when decision processes rely on data analysis and interpretation. When making decisions, you rank data over experience or intuition. Further, data must be accurate and relevant for a data-driven approach to succeed.
Data-Driven decisions reduce risks, save costs, and increase proactivity. Moreover, they decrease decision bias and are more objective than other approaches. Above all, there's a simple fact: data does not lie. It helps to predict future trends and raise success chances. Moreover, it also generates higher levels of revenue. That's what makes Data-Driven analytics key for any business.
You now know what it is to be data-driven and why it matters. But how can you work on developing a data-driven mindset? We’ll give you some tips on this below.
Your team should be able to understand the data so they can use it the right way. You can use data visualization, develop new processes, and provide training. If team members don’t understand the data and why it matters, there's no use for a data-driven approach.
A data-driven approach means being more analytical and looking for patterns. This mindset applies not only at work but also in your everyday life. As a result, you can train your brain to become more Data-Driven.
Sometimes, our brain sees what it wants instead of the data outcomes. We all have our biases, and that’s ok! Being aware of them will help reduce their impact on the decision-making process.
You’re not going to win every time. When you fail, please make the most of it and learn from your mistakes. They will provide valuable data that you can use for the next round.
Being Data-Driven entails asking questions and using data to answer those questions. Thus, you cannot take every piece of information you receive at face value. Question everything and reach your conclusions based on the data! Also, as we’ve mentioned, rely on accurate and relevant data.
When it comes to Big Data, like with AI, there is a two-way relationship with Software Development. Developers are creating apps that use big data. Meanwhile, they're using Big Data to streamline development processes. If you use Big Data in a dev process, it inherently means using Data-Driven Analytics. As Data-Driven becomes the standard in Software Development, this is only natural. Moreover, you get the benefits of both a Data-Driven approach and Big Data. You can increase your revenue and efficiency and decrease decision bias.
A highlight is that Big Data Development is not for everybody. It takes fast processors and sophisticated software analytics. Yet, if you could leverage a Data-Driven process, you'd also get near real-time analysis. And as you may know, this is an invaluable tool in Software Development and Testing. Another relevant thing is that, as we've mentioned, it's not all about business and profits. Over the last few years, many studies have seen the light. Within these, a constant is the unique possibilities of complete integrations. If you want to know more about this, you can read one of the studies here.
As we’ve seen, Big Data applications and Data-Driven analytics have incredible potential. Of course, they seem to be the future of businesses and Software Development. But they will also provide wonderful opportunities to improve our quality of life. We hope to have given you a broader perspective of big data and data-driven development. What do you think they will bring us next?