Maybe you have heard about how data is now changing the world in all of the different fields. It might help a patient to be cured, a company to raise its revenue, a factory to enhance its supply chain, even ads you see it made their publisher more responsible for their targeted customers.
Data is the other meaning of information, but when it comes to business and industries what you will read and see is mostly data especially if it’s about Big Data. Information that is readable by machine and human is what we call DATA.
Unstructured Vs. Structured Data:
Unstructured Data: it is about the information that only human can interpret, such as images or text blocks. If data requires a person to explain or interact wit, that data is human-readable.
Structured Data: it is what the computer brain is working with, all information that computer programs can process. A program is a set of instructions for manipulating data, a set of programs will create the software. Programs data will not process unless it has this uniform structure.
For example, US Naval Officer Matthew Maury turned years of old hand-written shipping logs (human-readable) into a large collection of coordinate routes (machine-readable). He was then able to process these routes en masse to reduce the average Naval journey by 33%.
The Most Trend Data Types:
- Personal Data:
Any information related to you is what this type of data all about. It covers your demographics, your location, email address and other personal data you add whenever you used the internet. It’s usually trending when it gets leaked or is being used in a controversial way like when Uber worked out who was having an affair.
Who gets these data? A lot of different companies do, almost all of companies websites and social media sites are collecting different types of your personal data, anytime you have to put your email or credit card details you are giving away some of your personal data. Usually, these data is used to personalize the user experience of yours to keep you engaged. Facebook, for example, uses your personal information to suggest content you might like to see based on what other people similar to you like.
Also, companies might use personal data to create a database that can be sold to other companies for advertising purposes, and that is one of the reasons you get targeted ads and content from companies you’ve never even heard of.
- Transactional Data:
Anything that requires an action to collect, clicking on ad, making a purchase, visiting a certain web page, etc.
Almost every website you visit gets some of this type, either through Google Analytics another 3rd party system or their own internal data capture system.
This type of data is highly important for businesses since it helps them to expose variability and optimize their operations. They can uncover the hidden patterns and correlations by optimizing the large amounts of data, and these can give them the competitive advantages, and result in business benefits like effective marketing and increased revenue.
- Web Data:
Any type of data you might pull from the internet is a web data. That might be on what competitors are selling, informative data, published articles, football scores, etc. It’s everything you can search on public-facing websites –not stored in some internal databases.
Why is it important for businesses? This type of data helps businesses to access information that is not generated by themselves, and this type is what they really use to create their business model and make important BI decisions since it is the one that makes them informed by what is happening internally and externally within their organization and what is happening in the wider market.
Web data can be used to monitor competitors, track potential customers, keep track of channel partners, generate leads, build apps, and much more. Its uses are still being discovered as the technology for turning unstructured data into structured data improves.
This type of data is collected by using written web scrapers with a scraping tool, or by paying a third party do scraping for you. A web scraper: “is a computer program that takes an URL as an input and pulls the data out in a structured format- usually a JASON feed or CSV.
- Sensor Data:
Data which generated by objects and is often referred to as the Internet of Things. It covers everything from your smartwatch measuring your heart rate to a building with external sensors that measure the weather.
Most of the sensor data have been used to help optimize processes. By measuring what is happening around them, machines cam make smart changes to increase productivity and alert people when they are in need of maintenance.
When Did Data Become Big Data?
Technically all of the types of data above contribute to Big Data, there is no standard size that makes data “big”. Big Data is a term that represents the increasing amount from various type of data that is now being generated and collected.
The digitalized online world have given analysts the chance to start using the online data. Things like social media, online books, music, videos and the increased amount of sensors have all added to the astounding increase in the amount of data that has become available for analysis.
The thing that differentiates Big Data from the “regular data” we were analyzing before is that the tools we use to collect, store and analyze it have had to change to accommodate the increase in size and complexity. With the latest tools like Qlik on the market, we no longer have to rely on sampling. Instead, we can process datasets in their entirety and gain a far more complete picture of the world around us.