Big Data is a term that has been buzzing through the media, social media, the business world, and the technology industry for years, but some people might not know what exactly distinguishes it from plain data. Big data not only describes the sheer size of massive data sets, but it also refers to its other telltale characteristics—or what has become known as the 3Vs of Big Data:
Velocity: very fast, unpredictable streaming speeds with changing rates and surges of activities.
Volume: enormous quantities of data (terabytes, petabytes, and more!).
Variety: different formats of data that are loosely structured, unstructured, or structured.
In other words, Big Data builds up extremely quickly in this digitalized world as it surrounds us daily in various forms: e-mails, video files, SMS messages, Twitter tweets, texts, mp3 files, PDFs, web pages, elevator logs, word documents, analog data, metadata, images, log files, and so on. Conversely, run-of-the-mill data in the traditional sense can be thought of as bits of information (i.e., numbers, words/text) or sets of quantitative or quantifiable values that can be represented in the following structures: tables with tabs and columns, tree diagrams that branch off from the origin to other related points, or graphs connecting points together. This regular structured data—information that exists in permanent or set fields within records or files—can be easily inputted, stored, managed, accessed, queried, and analyzed in neatly organized tables of rows and columns within relational databases. On the other hand, with its signature 3V traits, Big Data accumulates so rapidly from a plethora of sources—Hadoop, Redshift, MongoDB, Cassandra, Web logs, social networks, Internet traffic, print streams, and document archives (just to name a few!)—that it becomes nearly impossible to manage in traditional relational databases. Not only does this make Big Data management and storage vastly different from normal (or structured) data that most people are accustomed to handling, but it also means that organizations now require powerful, integrated solutions for making this information usable for business analytics practices (think big data analytics).
Does your company think analyzing gigantic volumes of complex data can only be accomplished by expert statisticians or data scientists? Some might think analyzing big data is insurmountable for everyday business users, but it doesn’t have to be! At Actuate, the leader in personalized analytics, we provide integrated big data analytics solutions to tackle any data challenge, supporting easy management of virtually all structured or unstructured data. Actuate helps prepare your business organization for the future with simplified big data solutions that support every stage of the data management life cycle:
Since Actuate understands that successful management of big data must be a collaborative effort by your entire organization, we created intuitive and user-friendly business tools for every team member involved with touching your data. From the developers designing your reports and applications to business users and client end users to the leaders leveraging valuable insights for better results, Actuate supplies comprehensive resources for everyone during each phase of the data handling process. Incorporating millions of volumes of data into your business analytics practices can be a thorny challenge, but Actuate’s big data solutions address those problems each step of the way to get your organization ready for tomorrow’s important decisions.
The cornerstone of Actuate’s big data solutions is BIRT technology. All of Actuate’s BIRT-based products are engineered to be non-industry specific or horizontal in nature, which means they are completely customizable and can be extended across markets. With Actuate’s commercial suite of information application development software and data analytics platform, organizations are equipped with game-changing, self-service business intelligence tools to accomplish essential business tasks using arsenals of big data:
Engage in real-time data mining from multiple sources
Generate stunning data visualizations
Create analytical dashboards
Build easy-to-understand scorecard solutions
Design ad hoc reports in a user-friendly Excel-like environment
Drive better sales management
Develop customer-facing applications
With the power to cherry-pick information from vast volumes of data from multiple sources, BIRT Analytics provides any kind of analytics—not merely market-specific analytics. Whether you need to perform marketing analytics, customer analytics, social media analytics, transportation analytics, retail analytics, government analytics, or financial analytics, BIRT Analytics can be applied in any industry to help process and shed light on all your elusive streams of accruing data. Through BIRT Content Services, Actuate helps users transform and deliver millions of documents to people to ensure that end users receive immense quantities of data when needed. What’s more, Actuate’s BIRT development platform and application software can be used as stand-alone business tools or they can be seamlessly integrated into your organization’s pre-existing systems. In this way, Actuate’s big data solutions offer remarkable flexibility and endless opportunities for providing better, highly personalized big data analytics.
To make Big Data actionable for effective marketing, you have to work with the right data. But how do you identify what data you need? Actuate’s Allen Bonde (@abonde) says customer-related data falls into one of three categories:
BIRT Analytics quickly loads big data, turns it into personalized insights, and makes it immediately available for analysis through an intuitive web browser-based interface.
Even before the term “big data” hit the tech industry, Actuate was already helping organizations access and manage huge stores of data from various sources. To meet the demands of handling staggering amounts of data simultaneously, Actuate created BIRT iHub, a secure cloud analytics server that gives users unprecedented control over deploying big data. While industries traditionally incur the costs of owning and maintaining large data warehouses, Actuate equips business organizations with a cost-effective alternate data housing solution: cloud storage in BIRT iHub! With unparalleled scalability that practically serves an unlimited number of users, BIRT iHub also offers businesses the mobility of on-demand cloud analytics service, accessible 24x7 by logging on through any standard Web browser or smart mobile device. For more information, please visit BIRT iHub onDemand or download the BIRT iHub Data Sheet.
Industries ranging from banking to manufacturing engage in a variety of big data projects by deploying BIRT software and Actuate applications. At Actuate, we do not think big data analytics should hinder performance or goals, so we provide efficient, cost-effective solutions that are easily customizable for everyday business users and suit virtually any need across diverse industries.