Big data is fast becoming essential to stay competitive. Business intelligence is a key element in trying to stay ahead in a crowded market and big data has a large part to play in gathering it. However, unless businesses ready themselves to effectively exploit big data, they will see a gap opening up, with the danger of them being left behind. So how should businesses prepare for big data, and what is it anyway?
What is Big Data?
Companies and organisations can gather information about their customers, and prospective customers, from a number of different sources. These include audio, video, images, text, tweets, posts, forums, blogs and events. The next thing is to be able to make sense of it all, looking for patterns, trends and associations.
Businesses gather information into a repository, from which they can then compile reports. A key part of the process is consolidating unstructured information into meaningful data. This involves semantic technology.
First, however, businesses have to be ready to secure the information. “There is a security element in big data which shouldn’t be overlooked”, explains Nick Walls of Walls Data & Electrical. “This means ensuring they have adequate secure encryption to safeguard the data”.
Accommodating Big Data
“Big data requires the right IT infrastructure to be able to accommodate it”, explains Nick. “It’s not like buying an off the shelf software package and simply installing it. You have to consider larger data storage requirements and larger data transmission capacity”.
Essentially, there will be a need for more power. Having a large-scale, complex hardware will draw on increased electrical resources, so at a very basic level, any fit out should involve this.
“In addition, you need to think about the risks of power outage”, Nick points out. “Make sure your current backup generator can cope with the additional power your system needs”.
There is also the question of network expansion. Larger amounts of data movement will require a bigger network to cope with this. This impacts on channels to transport data, storage media and database administration and backups.
“Big data brings benefits, but it requires proper preparation in order to become an effective business tool”, Nick concludes.
To discover more about the security and reliability of your big data infrastructure, please call Walls Data & Electrical on 0161 714 4475 or visit wallsde.co.uk.