Working with big data
The purpose of this article is to inform the public about big data,the
role that it plays in today's society, the careers associated with it and
proper training for working with big data.
By Sara Royster
What is big data?
Big data is such a large collection of datasets that normal statistical
methods can't be used to analyze them. They are measured in exabytes,which is
one quintillion bytes. The data can be numbers, words, pictures, videos or
anything that can be found online. This big data can be classified into either
structured or unstructured data. Structured data are things that can be easily
manipulated to be analyzed such as numbers and words. Sales figures or
transaction data can be easily classified and is also a form of structured data.
Unstructured data cannot be as easily categorized, since it consists of more
complex information such as comments on social media, pictures, and customer
reviews. Keywords must be used to analyze unstructured data to allow users to
search by certain terms.
Working with big data
Although some work that goes with big data is computerized, humans still
are the ones that make the collection and analyzation of the data possible. A
computer scientist can create programs and algorithms that try to find useful
information from large data sets. The statisticians or "data scientists" are the
ones responsible for making sense of the big data. Apart from programming and
statistics, big data plays a large role in business, E-commerce, finance,
government, healthcare, and science, as well as social networking and
Challenges presented by big data
Since big data is a fairly new phenomenon, there are challenges when it
comes to the funding, storage, protection, and interpretation. Because of the
economy and recent recession, governments and companies may be cutting costs
related to the analyzation of big data. Since there is such a vast amount of
data to be processed, there are numerous servers that could be needed for just
one organization, and finding actual useful data among a large amount of
unstructured data can be a challenge.
Preparing to work with big data
One of the biggest problems with big data is the lack of workers with
proper training in statistical analysis and computer networks. To pursue a
career in big data analysis, a bachelor's or higher degree is necessary,
with course work emphasizing on math, statistics, and computer science.This
along with good problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills will lead
to a career that requires the ability to constantly learn new things, because
technology is constantly evolving.
Big data is a large collection of datasets that can be either structured or
unstructured. This data can be analyzed for a variety of reasons, by big data
analysts. There are several challenges faced when working with big data, but
it will continue to play a role in society as it continues to grow with workers
that have the proper training and skill sets.