Remote DBA Experts Explain the Impact of Big Data on Database Management
by Sujain Thomas from Remotedba
Data management has always been part of organizational management. However, with the advent of new data collection and retrieval technologies over the last two decades, the amount of data being generated is in greater volumes and much more diverse. Systems such as RDBMS which had dominated the landscape for decades are now falling by the wayside to give way to NewSQL and NoSQL among others.
Data generation today is in virtually every aspect of life from banking, healthcare and education to social life. As an organization with an online presence, data management is no longer a competency but a differentiator that determines winners and losers in your industry. Big data has now become a buzzword, especially on the internet platform. As a website owner or a database manager, you need to appreciate how this concept affects your business and how you can leverage the same.
Big Data in Brief
Big data in the simplest terms refers to both structured and unstructured data that is generated by an organization on a day-to-day basis. However, it is not just about the collection of data but also how the generated data is analyzed and put to use. While big data was a preserve of big IT firms such as Facebook, this is a term that now applies even to small enterprises.
On one hand, big data describes the large volumes of data generated while on the other hand, it refers to continuing analysis of such data to the benefit of the company. Big data, unlike traditional data, deals with rapid analytics of the generated sets of unstructured information to provide quick answers to problems. Facebook, for instance, is able to quickly analyze a user status to determine which targeted ads are going to be displayed.
To appreciate what big data is and what it is not, consider these ‘V’ variables, which are used to define it:
- Volume: Your business collects data from various sources including surveys, machine-to-machine data, social media and click-through behavior. Such data is then stored using new capabilities such as Hadoop.
• Variety: In your organization, you collect all forms of information, be it in traditional formats, text documents, video, which is now the most popular form of online content, email among others.
• Velocity: The speed at which data is generated and dealt with today is unprecedented. There is a need for real-time data management.
The variability and complexity of data are also factors that will help you appreciate what big data is all about. There is no doubt that, when properly managed, big data can tremendously change the running of any business. If you are a website owner, for instance, you can easily use analytics to determine who to target in your email campaigns.
Big Data and Databases
While all this potential exists, research shows that only a small percentage of data is actually analyzed. Today, data is being generated faster and traditional database management practices are having a hard time to catch up. Older databases cannot scale to big or diverse data hence the loss of opportunities. Databases such as Microsoft SQL and Oracle’s RAC are increasingly finding it harder to process the larger volumes of information.
While buying more servers can be an initial solution, there is eventually a need for a database that actually scales outwards. This has been the greatest impact of big data on the database management landscape. To appreciate this impact, here are some of the new trends that are visible in database systems:
- New databases and the concept of big data: Hadoop has become one of the top big data management platforms. Hadoop-style clustering is very popular with all types of businesses. Other alternatives to RDBMS today include NoSQL family, which includes Mongo DB, one of the most popular DBM systems in the market.
2. Better equipment to handle data: Today, there are better tools to generate data quickly, analyze it and store it for future reference. Networks are also faster and organizations can more effectively collect data in real-time.
3. Increased expertise: Traditionally, database management was confused with website maintenance. However, a distinct discipline around management of big data has evolved and as a business owner, you can leverage their expertise to improve database management. Remote DBA experts are now an integral part of online business management. These experts will work behind the scenes to ensure data is generated quickly and to reduce server downtime on your website.
4. The cloud: Cloud storage has become a popular storage option for big data. With big players such as Google providing custom packages, more brands are opting for this alternative. The evolution of sustainable cloud models has led to more affordable storage solutions especially for companies that don’t have capital to support infrastructure.
Importance of Big Data Today
First things first; big data is not about how much data your business collects but actually what you do with it. When data is combined with analytics, the concept of big data is borne as an organization can then use such data to its advantage. Here are some reasons big data is creating such a buzz in business IT:
1. Improved customer services: Through real-time data collection, the government or any company can repackage collected data instantly to improve services or products.
2. Risk management: It is now easy to recalculate risk portfolios in minutes and take action to mitigate the same.
3. New sources of competitive advantage: In a crowded global market, gaining a competitive edge is nigh to impossible using traditional market research techniques. Big data allows your business to adapt faster to change in your niche than the competition.
4. Cost savings: This is a major reason more brands are investing in big data. Previously, they had to pay for hardware and licenses in data management but with big data, a standard solution is deployed yet it is effective and more affordable.
The relationship between big data and the need for enhanced databases cannot be ignored. Your database manager will look at available options before proposing one that perfectly suits your needs.