What’s the Big Deal with Big Data?

Posted by / October 13, 2016

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2016 has already been a year of exciting new technology in the AV industry. One of the most important trends for integrators and manufacturers alike is the interaction of AV with “Big Data.” But Big Data is more than a trend, and its effects stretch beyond that of networked AV.

Chris Selland of HP Vertica summarized Big Data’s possibilities in his interview with Tableau:

“What’s really going to make big data go mainstream is the ability to connect not just with data scientists and technologists but business people. And absolutely one of the keys to that is visualization, is being able to show people—not just tell people, not just show numbers or even show charts—but to have those charts and graphs and visualizations come alive.”

Show What is Big Data?

Big Data is simply the gathering and management of massive amounts of data. When people say “Big Data,” they’re mostly describing the act of grouping and using a lot of information from many sources at once. That includes numerical data, text, images, and video files.

The difference between Big Data and data management of the past is twofold. Both the scale and complexity of data have increased dramatically, and with that dramatic leap in scale comes the need for better ways visualize and manipulate that data in real time.

Video technology quickly evolved to support better data visualization. HD video is now the minimum standard, with full-color 4K and Ultra High Definition video formats allowing for even more detailed images and video. The high-resolution trend shows no signs of stopping, and neither does the trend towards larger data usage. In the age of the Internet of Things and on-demand HD video streaming, Big Data is here to stay.

The Daily Effects of Big Data

You may think Big Data is a far-off phenomenon with little impact on your daily life. It’s not. In reality, Big Data has already transformed how we socialize, consume media, and do business.

The statistics show how quickly the times have changed:

• 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years.
• 80 to 85 percent of data is unstructured data (text, audio, video streams, and log files).
• The average billion-dollar company loses $130 million a year because of inconsistent, incomplete, and unorganized data.
• Huge markets have opened thanks to the ability to mine data and sell analytics.

Clearly, we’ve already taken the collective leap to relying Big Data. Social media is a prime example. Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter are all cloud-based apps with huge user bases. Our media consumption is increasingly cloud-based, too. Just look at Netflix and Spotify. And with all these cloud-based apps comes—you guessed it—Big Data.

Big Data is changing the way we do business, too. Many tech-savvy companies rely on global collaboration, and they’re looking for ways to empower remote teams. People perform better when their schedules, work locations, and tools are in harmony with their personal lives. With Big Data, companies can easily track their team’s productivity based on those factors and use the information to encourage healthier and more effective work environments.

Silicon Valley startups aren’t the only ones taking advantage of Big Data. We all use, post, share, and work with more data than ever before. And the implication is clear: we absolutely need faster processing and better network security, and fast. The managed networks of the past will soon be obsolete. They simply won’t be able to handle the increasing demands of Big Data. In a few years’ time, companies that hesitate to prepare their networks today will feel the inevitable strain.

Preparing for the Data-pocalypse

Will there be a “Big Brother” aspect to Big Data? That depends. Bad guys aren’t going away anytime soon, and if you don’t tighten security now, your data may very well be used against you in the future. Big Data means bigger problems when breaches do occur. Now more than ever, proactive and practical risk mitigation is key.

But the biggest concern is the exponential growth of data usage and the inability of networks to keep up. My advice? Plan for your future network needs today. At this rate, two years of Big Data will bring a whole world of change.



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