We live in a technological era where the term “data” is commonly used. It is well-known even among children. But when we prefix “big” before data, it confuses children and adults alike. And they often ask what big data is.
Big Data is a large amount of digitally created and stored information. Social media, the Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce websites, search engines, and other sources generate the information.
When people use social media platforms, shop online, or play games, they generate data that can uncover patterns and insights to help businesses and organizations make better decisions.
The 3 Vs of Big Data
Big data has three properties, which highlight organizations’ challenges in managing and analyzing large amounts of data and the need for specialized tools and techniques to derive insights and value from it.
Volume: The massive amount of data generated and collected by organizations, which can be in the petabytes or exabytes, is called volume. This data can be generated from various sources, such as social media, transactional data, and machine-generated data.
Velocity: Velocity refers to the speed at which data is generated and collected. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), data is being generated at an unprecedented rate. This data needs to be processed and analyzed quickly to derive insights and value from it.
Variety: The different types and formats of data that organizations collect come under variety. This data can be structured, semi-structured, or unstructured. Structured data is easily organized and stored in a database, while semi-structured and unstructured data like social media posts, emails, and videos require specialized tools for processing and analysis.
Source: Soft Computing and Intelligent Information Systems
The massive volume of data is measured in terabytes and petabytes.
A Terabyte is a trillion bytes.
A Petabyte is 1,000 Terabytes
Terabytes = 1,000,000,000,000
Petabytes = 1,000,000,000,000,000
So far so good! But how do we explain this concept to children?
We can explain Big Data to children by using examples from their surroundings. So let us begin:
What is big data?
Big Data is like a huge toy pit filled with thousands of toys. If you only had a few toys, you could easily sort them out, but if you have thousands of them, it would take a long time to sort them all by hand.
So you need a special tool to segregate toys.
Similarly, when people use computers and the internet, they create a lot of information. This information can be things like pictures, videos, messages, and even things like how many times someone clicks on a certain button on a website. Big Data is all of this information combined.
It is so much information that it’s difficult to make sense of it all. But by using special tools and techniques, we can analyze Big Data to find patterns and make decisions based on that information.
For example, a company that sells toys might use Big Data to see which toys are most popular with kids in your area, which colors are the most popular, and which ages of kids like which toys the most. This can help the company make decisions about what toys to make and how to market them.
How does big data work?
Big Data uses tools are used to gather, cleanse, and analyze massive and complex datasets to assist businesses in leveraging their big data. These tools are like helpers that can quickly find patterns and insights in the data that might be hard for people to find on their own. This can help people make better decisions and improve the things they do.
How is big data stored?
Can we store sea water in a river? The answer is no. Similarly, the information is so big that traditional data processing methods are not enough to handle it.
One way to store Big Data is in a “data lake”. A data lake is like a giant toy box where we can put all kinds of toys. It’s different from other toy boxes because it can hold different toys, like balls, dolls, cars, and puzzles.
We stored big Data in places such as
- Data Centers
- Cloud Storage
- Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)
- Object Storage
The choice of storage location depends on factors such as the size of the data, the organization’s budget, and the desired level of accessibility and security.
But again, if we want something specific, it won’t be possible to find it in that giant toy box. So, what will we do? We will put cars in one box and balls in another and organize them.
Similarly, special tools and techniques are used to sort and analyze the data in a data lake.
Usage of Big Data
Personalized Movie Recommendations: Imagine you are watching a movie on a streaming service, and at the end of the movie, the service recommends other movies that you might like based on your previous movie choices. This recommendation is made using Big Data!
Traffic Prediction: Have you ever been stuck in traffic? Big Data can help with that too! Traffic monitoring systems collect data from sensors, GPS devices, and cameras to analyze traffic patterns. With this information, transportation officials can predict where traffic jams might occur and plan ways to avoid them.
Health Tracking: Some people use fitness trackers to monitor their daily activity levels, heart rate, and sleep patterns. This data is stored and analyzed to help people make decisions about their health.
Hope the concept explained with examples is helpful in explaining Big Data. By using everyday examples from the real world, we can help them understand how Big Data is generated and used to improve our lives. By understanding Big Data, children can develop the valuable skillsets for the future.
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