Big Data: Where Do You Start?
There will be more than 35 trillion gigabytes of digital information by the year 2020, according to TeraData, one of the world’s largest analytic data solution companies.
While the development of new technologies is a great tool in itself, it drastically increases the amount of data that is available for analysis. All kinds of businesses and government organizations are constantly acquiring more and more data to form increasingly larger data sets.
When working with big data sets, there are a number of questions that arise… What tool is right for this type of data? What kind of expertise do we need to manipulate the data? Or, a common one… Where do I start?
While every dataset is different, there are five steps one can take to begin working with big data:
- Identify what kind of questions your organization is looking to ask out of the data set. This is a broad ranging topic that can vary from crime reports to stock sales. Understanding this requirement will help in narrowing down a list of potential data tools.
- Determine how detailed the analysis of the data will be and what you want the end product to look like.
- Select a data tool that will be compatible with the data and the analyst who will be working with the data. There are numerous data tools available that require different levels of skill for analysis, for example Tableau Software that can be used by beginner analysts with basic experience in data manipulation while others require subject matter experts.
- Ascertain if any additional steps need to be taken to prepare the data for analysis
- Import the data into the selected tool and begin analysis!
Following these five steps will enable any analyst to successfully begin harnessing the power of big data to help decision makers make more informed decisions.