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What is Big Data and how does it work?

Big Data

These are some of the questions you may have if you are wondering why data has become the oil of the digital age for organizations around the world.

Every day more data is generated. The Internet of Things happen not to be something imaginary and you can already track your sleeping habits or the number of calories you burn when you go for a run. The term Big Data appeared first in the 1960s, but is now taking on a new prominence.

What is the big data?

By definition, Big Data happens to be data sets of great variety, which are generated in large volumes and at an ever-increasing speed. That is why, when it is about Big Data, it always mentionable about the three “Vs” of Big Data. Well, there are actually more than three “Vs” now, because the concept of Big Data has evolved, but an explanation is there below.

Did you know that an airplane engine generates more than 10 terabytes of data in just 30 minutes of flight? And how many flights are there in a day? This results in several new petabytes of information every day. Photo and video uploads, messages and comments to Facebook generate several hundred terabytes of new data every day.

Data sources: where does this vast amount of data come from?

The Big Data is generated through many of the activities you do every day. Therefore, the data sources are truly diverse: GPS devices, facial recognition sensors or emails are just a few examples.

Data processing: how is it done?

Most of the people use some kind of technology or online service like Gmail or Facebook. These companies allow you to send and exchange data and, in turn, use the data that are provided to you.

That is, online services, websites, applications, and many other devices constantly analyze data to make their services more effective and to develop new products. And for this, they use Big Data tools and services (such as Hadoop or NoSQL) to analyze and process massive data in order to improve their offer. But it doesn’t stop there. One day someone thought, “Why don’t you use big data so that machines can learn by themselves?” This is how was born on machine learning or machine learning, which also started generating more data.

Semi-structured data

The semi – structured data may contain both forms of data, for example, web server logs or sensor data are configured. To be precise, it is data that, despite not being classified in a specific repository (a database), contains vital information or labels that segregate individual elements within the data.

The big Vs of Big Data

Now that you know what the definition of Big Data is, where it comes from or the different types that exist, you come to the famous “V” of Big Data. Data scientists use the “Vs” to define Big Data, and traditionally there were three different “Vs”: volume, speed, and variety.


As its name suggests, when it is about Big Data which is been referred to large volumes of data. This volume is important for storage, processing and exploitation: the larger the volume, the more complex it will be to use Big Data. So the amount of data is very important. Some companies can process tens of terabytes of data, while others can process hundreds of petabytes, for example, on the number of people who click on their website.