What is Big Data? It sounds like a nefarious organisation out to crush you, sure, but don’t let your imagination get too wild! Big Data is a key concept for any form of online marketing in South Africa – so, naturally, Zebra 360 Online Marketing are here with all the key points you need to know.

What is Big Data?

Let’s start with the easiest Big Data question- what is it? Big Data is the term marketers have decided on to cover the massive volume of data you need to mine for information to help you in your efforts.

Always remember the 3 Vs:

  • Volume: There’s a lot of Big Data. An awful lot of it
  • Variety: This data is coming from a wide range of sources
  • Velocity: It typically comes in fast, and needs to be processed the same way. Sets of ‘Big Data’ are typically processed in close to real-time.

There’s actually no strict size assigned to the term ‘Big Data’, though it usually numbers in terabytes (or much more). It’s simply a representation of the size of the data pool that comprises all the information you have on your customers. This ranges from your classic analytics through to things like customer history, clickstreams, social networking and more. The types of data comprising ‘Big Data’ can also be very varied, from human sources to SQL databases.

Can Big Data Be Pre-Sorted?

For larger companies, it’s common to use data preparation software and data mining to keep the volume under control.

Who Uses Big Data?

Strictly speaking, Big Data is the responsibility of data analysts and data scientists. In reality (and business) however, the term has expanded to cover the larger data set you’re using to gain information about your metrics. This means anyone handling large data sets with an understanding of that data, who are looking for specific answers from that data,  can be said to be using ‘Big Data’ concepts.

Does Big Data bypass the human factor?

No data, no matter how ‘big’, is of any value without a human factor to interpreting it. True Big Data is typically initially processed by automated programs and AI, yes. This helps sort it, remove obvious bad data, and break down massive volumes of data to something more meaningful. However, the value and effectiveness we can draw from this will depend on the workers who shape its later use.

Big Data is one of those industry terms you are sure to encounter as soon as you start getting more invested in the analytics and metrics of your digital advertising content. Don’t be scared off by the jargon, however – the base concept is actually very easy to come to grips with.

Still feeling a little overwhelmed? Let Zebra 360 Online Marketing help you make the most of your advertising efforts this year.