Big data is simply the massive amount of data generated by activities across the digital world. From emails, chats and shopping footprint to information exchange at an organizational level, the amount of data being generated at any time is huge. The datasets are too large for mainstream data processing software tools to manage and process at a fast enough pace to help businesses with decision-making. Big data technologies manifested as an answer to solve these challenges.
Why do organizations acquire so much data? Big data is the answer to AI’s demand for data in quantities that exceed what traditional IT can supply. Artificial intelligence (AI) models need to be tested with large volumes of data from a variety of sources and conditions in order to gain deeper business insights, and big data provides this test data. Big data systems acquire and process data at a scale and speed that was not possible earlier. Processing big data involves data in petabytes and this is where cloud computing steps in. The cloud is equipped with the right resources and techniques to store, process and analyse the voluminous datasets that big data involves.
Big data and data modernization
A discussion about big data must include the mention of data modernization. The latter involves the transformation of the methods used by organisations to collect, store and manage data. Data modernisation enables organisations to leverage big data and effectively meet the demands of the digital age. Adopting cloud-based solutions plays a big part in modernising an organisation’s data architecture and management.
How big data and the cloud go hand in hand
The value of big data lies in its sheer volume. It enables companies to derive more accurate and holistic insights from it through detailed analysis than it would have been otherwise possible. However, these datasets require terabytes, petabytes, or more, in storage space and that poses a serious challenge to on-premise IT storage capabilities.
The cloud’s capacity to scale on demand eliminates these limitations and allows businesses to expand their storage as required, which can be as little as a few gigabytes to thousands of terabytes and beyond. It is more efficient cost-wise since businesses do not have to build or maintain any infrastructure and pay only for the storage they use at any given time.
The sheer magnitude of big data requires immense computing power, and the cloud is capable of providing that. A cloud network’s ability to simultaneously integrate sizable datasets derived from numerous sources fosters efficient real-time analysis of big data. The whole process can be smoothly performed from a singular reference point.
We, at Cloud Kinetics, have supported clients who were facing challenges not just with data volume, but with data type too. With more unstructured data being generated today than ever before, having the infrastructure to standardise it for efficient analysis is crucial, especially in the world of sports analytics.
In this case, numerous key metrics were laboriously captured, recorded and ranked manually. We successfully automated the process via our cloud-based solution with AI-enabled Azure services. This enabled an automatic input of all unstructured data generated by the client and led to more seamless data analysis, as well as enabling better predictive player rankings.
Flexible and cost-efficient budgeting
On-premise management of big data often incurs high costs due to the unavoidable capital expenditure on infrastructure, which must be constantly upgraded, maintained and expanded as they handle more data. This naturally increases operational costs too.
Outsourcing big data management to the cloud is cost-effective as it transfers most of the infrastructure maintenance and analytics costs to the cloud provider. It is the responsibility of the cloud provider to maintain and upgrade the cloud environment, covering everything from cloud storage and processing to cyber security and cloud backup. Additionally, the pay-as-you-go model, common with cloud service providers, allows for more flexibility in the business’s budget.
Ability to prepare for a data-driven future
Big data is a constantly growing phenomenon, and cloud technology can help businesses capitalise on the advantages it offers. As more and more organisations transform themselves digitally, even small to medium enterprises can expect an overwhelming amount of data to be generated.
Journal studies have described the concurrent use of cloud and big data as a ‘match made in heaven’ due to the compatibility of the immense storage and computing power of the cloud with the voluminous nature of big data. With near-infinite scalability, sheer computing power and better cost efficiency, businesses can leverage the cloud to cement their competitive positions and remain agile in a data-driven world.