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Norbert Kytka, Headquarters PlattlingContact
In the past, data was generally collected in structured, concise forms. For example, you might maintain a customer file with entries containing the name, address and age of the customer. This data could be evaluated comparatively easily, e.g. if you wanted to determine the average age of your customer base. However, our procedures are changing with the growing use of technology and ongoing digitization. Huge quantities of data (volume) are generated via a multitude of touchpoints (online store, social media, or production processes). These are collected, transferred and stored at ever-increasing rates (velocity).
The datasets are available in diverse forms (variety), e.g. images, sounds, videos or text. The result is a vast, complex, fast-moving, loosely structured mass of data. Data with these characteristics cannot be evaluated with traditional data processing techniques and is referred to as “Big Data”. The term “Big Data” was defined back in 2001, with reference to the 3V model: volume, velocity and variety. Today, the term also covers the use of technology to analyze, process and make use of the datasets. Datasets are also checked for correctness. The module can therefore be extended with the dimensions of “value” and “validity”.
Even analyzing a small amount of structured data, such as the entries in a customer file, can generate significant business advantages – for example, you can get important insights into your business’s target group. Now that machines can collect, process and edit unstructured datasets in orders of terabytes (1000 gigabytes) and petabytes (1000 terabytes), entirely new possibilities are opened up. You might discover potential for improvement in your business processes, or make efficiency gains in your product development, marketing and sales activity. You can also make decisions based on real facts more effectively and more quickly. With suitable framework conditions, machines can be designed to autonomously establish a pool of experience based on the data they collect. This can then be used for future problems (see Machine Learning). Big Data will therefore represent a central competitive advantage for businesses in the future.
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