What is Big Data? A Complete Guide on its Advantages and its Uses

What is Big Data? A Complete Guide on its Advantages and its Uses | Business Analytics | Emeritus

In today’s fast-paced world, data is being generated at an unprecedented rate and from various sources such as social media, web traffic, and financial transactions. There are several advantages to the insights you can draw from these large and complex sets of data—what is commonly known as big data. However, in order to be meaningful, the big data has to be processed using the appropriate methods, beyond traditional data processing. In this article, we will explore the advantages of big data and how businesses can use it to unlock new opportunities and gain a competitive edge. Read on for more. 

What is Big Data? 

Big data refers to large sets of unstructured and raw data collected from different sources. It includes information such as customer preferences, search results, weather conditions, financial data, health records, and more. Moreover, big data analysts are responsible for drawing actionable insights from these huge sets of raw data.  

Also Read: 8 Ways to Leverage Big Data for Businesses in 2023

How Big Data Works 

Big data comes in two forms—structured and unstructured. Structured data consists of information that is already organized.Advantages of big data Unstructured data, as the name suggests, comprises unorganized data. Broadly, here is how big data works:

  • To start with, information is collected from different sources, as mentioned below
  • Then, data is organized into clusters based on common features 
  • Thereafter, the data is cleaned to improve its quality and produce more robust findings
  • In the last step, data scientists and analysts interpret and present data to different stakeholders to draw meaningful insights  

Sources of Big Data 

So, there are innumerable sources of big data. Here are a few examples:

  • Social media: Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are treasure troves of information. For example, marketers can collect data about users by analyzing their social media consumption patterns  
  • Stock exchange: Provides information about the share selling and buying decisions made by users 
  • Mobile apps: Provides data to show users’ behavior patterns based on the subject the app deals with

Also Read: What are the Major Trends for Big Data and AI Technologies?

What are the Advantages of Big Data? 

Big data analyzes different data sources to provide companies with a wealth of information. Here is a breakdown of some of the advantages of big data:

  1. Organizations can use big data insights to make informed business decisions and solve complex business problems. For instance, they can refer to consumer behavior and market trends to make strategic decisions regarding the marketing of the product or service  
  2. Big data tools and techniques help companies develop novel products or services. In other words, product managers use customer and market insights to drive innovation  
  3. Moreover, companies can personalize their marketing and sales efforts by offering targeted recommendations and personalized customer service  
  4. Big data has proved to be of great help in early risk and fraud detection. It analyzes data patterns and relationships to identify and mitigate risk, fraud, and cybersecurity threats  
  5. Day-to-day business activities can be improved with big data. Moreover, it helps optimize business operations by analyzing ways to reduce the time and effort put into a task. It also suggests best practices that help in reducing costs and time spent on business activities  
  6. Big data helps diversify your business’s revenue stream. It analyzes data from different sources and gives you trend data that can help you identify new sources of revenue

Also Read: Big Data Vs Data Analytics: Key Differences

How to Use Big Data? 

Big data is used differently by various industries. Let’s take a look at the use of big data across marketing, banking, and small-scale businesses.  

1# Big Data in Marketing 

Big data helps companies understand their customers better. It gives them deep insights into customer preferences, motivation, and buying patterns, which can be used to develop effective marketing campaigns. Apart from that, companies can use big data for the following marketing-related activities:  

  • Identifying new revenue avenues  
  • Advantages of big dataRisk management  
  • Creating targeted and personalized advertising campaigns  
  • Reducing marketing expenses  
  • Improving customer acquisition and retention 

2# Big Data in Banking and Finance

The banking and finance industry is looking to deploy a system to manage huge sets of data generated daily through different sources. They are developing new systems and less-expensive mechanisms to ensure effective data management. Big data can help banks and financial institutions judiciously use data. Additionally, it can offer protection from fraud and cheating.  

Besides that, big data helps in identifying high-value customers and leveraging that information to increase profit.  

3# Big Data in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Many small and medium-sized organizations use big data to transform their business because it helps them spot opportunities and leverage them to gain a competitive advantage.  

For instance, small and medium-sized organizations can analyze SERP’s results and use them to their benefit. They can up their preparedness to respond to customer queries.  

To conclude, with more and more companies generating unprecedented data (given the value of the insights drawn from big data), it is a great time to develop a career in this field.  

So if you are planning to make a career in data science or big data, take up a certificate course to acquire the vital skills and knowledge required to build a successful career. Emeritus has partnered with institutes like IIM and IIT to offer data science certificate courses. These courses are developed for fresh graduates and working professionals. Joining the program will enhance career prospects.

About the Author


Senior Content Contributor, Emeritus Blog
Varun, a seasoned content creator with over 8 years of diverse experience, excels in crafting engaging content for various geographies and categories. Leveraging this expertise, he seamlessly translates complex concepts into enriching educational content for the EdTech domain. His keen understanding of research and life experiences helps him resonate with students and create fact-based content. He finds solace and inspiration in music, nurturing his creativity for content creation.
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