What Is Big Data Technology?

March 23, 2020 • Shannon Flynn


You have probably heard the term big data a lot recently.
It’s an area of technology and innovation that’s becoming more popular for
businesses across the world. However, big data can become confusing at times,
so it’s important to break it down into smaller parts.

The first question is, what is big data technology?

What Is It?

Big data is software that analyzes and processes
information from overly complex and large data sets. Information has come a
long way in terms of storage, so big data is essentially hardware that keeps up
with the progress. Traditional data collection and processing would not be able
to handle the newfound growth. 

With big data, you will get more volume, velocity and
variety than you would with traditional collection. Volume gives you more
massive amounts of data your system can analyze — both structured or
unstructured and semi-structured information. Velocity increases the speed at
which these processes happen, and variety increases the kinds of data available
to you. 

Breaking It Down

Two types of big data technology exist. The first is
operational, encompassing the standard, daily information that individuals use.
Social media, online purchases and preferences all fall into this
category. The second is analytical big data technology. Operational feeds
the analytical, taking the information provided, and analyzing it. This
analysis then translates into business decisions, driving profits. 

Big data technology breaks down further into different

  • Data storage: Big data that helps store information since it can hold
    zettabytes — equivalent to 1 x 109 terabytes. Hadoop is an example of a data storage
    system, and IMB and Microsoft both use it. 
  • Data mining: Extracting new information out of databases. Facebook, Airbnb, and
    Netflix use Presto for some of their data mining. 
  • Data analytics: Helps businesses analyze their information to make
    company decisions. Kafka is an example of a data analytics company that
    Twitter, Spotify and LinkedIn use. 
  • Data visualization: Helps companies visualize their information for
    better actionable steps. Qlik and Cognos are examples of business intelligence
    companies that use Tableau for data visualization. 

This breakdown shows the
versatility of big data technology. However, these examples are merely the
beginning, since it’s improving almost every area of business.

Where Is It Helping?

Many areas of business use various forms of information.
Big data technologies come in and improve those areas drastically. 


Predictive analytics uses big data to influence business
decisions. Various forms of information collection, like data mining, work with machine learning to extract details
that can lead to better insight. This process could result in a knowledge of
trends and consumer interests, which the business can use to change their


Part of this technology includes improved security. With
predictive maintenance, big data technology can alert you when something needs
fixed or replaced. From there, you’ll be able to patch any issues so that
hackers can’t get in and steal information. This setup will protect customer
data and prevent fraud. 


With better storage and analysis, companies can use big
data technology to improve their customer experience. They can use it to gather
more information on their customers or clients and understand their needs
better. Then, they can personalize that data to provide a unique experience for each


Big data technology will help process and visualize information
in real-time. Software with this technology can improve, collect and present
larger amounts of data from several sources at once. This innovation will lead
to better decision-making in the business as well as an understanding of
consumer trends and behavior. 

What to Look For in the Future of Big Data Technology

Big data improves every day and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Going forward, keep an eye on artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and self-service capabilities. As businesses use automation and AI more, big data technology will integrate them more frequently. 

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