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    Explaining Big Data to Kids – A Practical Guide

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    explaining big data

    Update: This article was last updated on 31 January 2024 to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

    Explaining Big Data To Kids

    Image Source: Towards Data Science

    In today’s world 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.

    Big Data Table

    S.No. Table of Contents
    1. The 3 Vs of Big Data
    2. How to Explain This Concept To Children
    3. What is Big Data?
    4. How Does Big Data Work?
    5. How is Big Data Stored?
    6. Usage of Big Data

    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.

    3 Vs Of Big Data

    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?

    When people use computers and the internet, you watch our favorite shows or search for pictures; they create a lot of information. This information can be 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 understand everything. 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 decide what toys to make and how to market them.

    Example for kids

    Example For Kids

    Big Data is like a huge ball pit filled with thousands of colorful balls. If you only had a few balls, 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. 

    How does big data work?

    There are tools 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.

    Example

    Imagine you have a big box of colorful building blocks. Each block represents a piece of information, like a number or a word. Now, you want to learn something interesting from all these blocks, but there are so many that it’s hard to do it all by yourself.

    Big Data is like having a super smart friend who can help you with this big box of blocks. Your friend has special tools that can quickly look at all the blocks, organize them, and find cool patterns or interesting things hiding in them.

    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 store 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: 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 they understand how Big Data is generated and used to improve our lives. By understanding Big Data, children can develop valuable skill sets for the future.

    Moonpreneur understands the needs and demands this rapidly changing technological world is bringing with it for our kids. Thus we are on a mission to educate and ignite the flames of entrepreneurship through our holistically created online STEM programs, which will help kids master the futuristic sciences such as Robotics, Game Development, App Development, Advanced Math, and much more!!

    Register for a free 60-minute Robotics Workshop today!

    Arpana

    Arpana

    A journalist-turned-content writer, Arpana is a passionate storyteller who combines her journalistic experience with new technology to create engaging, persuasive, and impactful writeups.
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    6 Comments
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    Sakhina
    Sakhina
    3 months ago

    How do you explain data to kindergarten?

    Joshua
    Joshua
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Sakhina

    What constitutes data? At its most basic level, it encompasses information we gather, whether consciously or not, about the world. To derive utility from this information, humans must possess the ability to classify, sort, organize, represent, and interpret it. Our brains continually engage in the process of collecting information.

    Mario
    Mario
    7 months ago

    How do you introduce data to students?

    George
    George
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Mario

    An initial approach to acquainting students with data is to start at the beginning of the school year with a subject dear to them: their birthdays. Utilizing the students’ personal information and something familiar to them provides an excellent foundation for initiating your data lesson.

    Waylen
    Waylen
    4 months ago

    How do you teach students to Analyse data?

    Kayce
    Kayce
    2 months ago
    Reply to  Waylen

    Learners engage in inquiries to gather data and complete a data table. Subsequently, they receive guidance on analyzing and illustrating the data through a graph, followed by responding to questions that delve into the significance of the collected data. Furnishing students with analysis instructions is aimed at optimizing time utilization, enabling coverage of a broader range of content.

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