Big data has generated a significant amount of attention over the past few years, with companies refining their analytics techniques and visionaries imagining remarkable new ways to transform lives and create opportunities with the resource. However, behind these exciting developments are substantial technological and conceptual challenges. Is your enterprise prepared to leverage big data resources?
What can big data do?
On a basic level, big data projects involve collecting, storing, and analyzing sets of information so large that traditional processing tools aren't able to accommodate them. Typically marked by great degrees of variety in terms of sources and data type, the resources can be analyzed in advanced ways to draw fascinating insights from facts and figures that previously weren't available to assess in that way.
Initiatives involving big data span almost all industries, from government to commercial ventures. For example, Fortune Magazine described how a startup founded by two young tech professionals, Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg, aims to improve cancer research and care through insights driven by big data analytics. By June 2016, the organization plans to have data from more than 1 million cancer patients.
Or consider, for instance, how sports teams and analysts have used big data to make predictions and better target their training and coaching decisions. Forbes Magazine explained how companies are using the resource to improve their hiring practices, drawing recruits that are more aligned with their organizations' needs and ambitions.
The technology behind the insights
However, before you can get to these exciting applications, you need to establish the underlying technological infrastructure to aggregate, store, and process massive volumes of information. As Newsweek noted, more than 80 percent of big data resources are unstructured, coming from sources such as social media platforms.
One tool that has enabled groups to make headway with collecting this type of information is Hadoop, a platform specifically designed to handle high volumes of unstructured data. An open source framework, the software library can scale up to distribute processing among multiple computers.
With big data, maintaining the integrity of the system is extremely important, both because of the value of data resources and due to the potentially personal nature of some information. To facilitate data transfers to and from Hadoop, companies can turn to robust solutions such as Globalscape® Enhanced File Transfer™ and DMZ Gateway®. These out-of-the-box solutions offer greater visibility and security for every file, even at high volumes.
For additional information about managing big data resources, refer to our free use case, "Globalscape® Solution for Onboarding Big Data."