Best Big Data Software in 2018

Big data is continuously gaining importance in the business world. Businesses today, regardless of their scale and industry, collect large volumes of data about key processes and stakeholders with the view to generating actionable insights. Big data solutions in analytics and intelligence software enable you to organize the data in an effective and streamlined manner, making it easier to process, analyze and understand.  Read the full software guide...


Software Buyer Guide 2018

Big Data Software Buyer Guide 2018

Product recommendations, vendor rankings, market overview and tips on how to select Big Data software for business. Published in December 2018.

Big data is continuously gaining importance in the business world. Businesses today, regardless of their scale and industry, collect large volumes of data about key processes and stakeholders with the view to generating actionable insights. Big data solutio...

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Big Data Software Guide

What is Big Data Software?

Big data is a term that describes huge sets of data that, due to their size, cannot be stored or processed in the traditional manner or by using the usual data management tools. This large amount of data helps a lot of businesses to go through daily activities and processes easier and with more efficiency.

Some of the best examples of businesses, groups, or companies that deal with big data are social media networks, airline companies, e-commerce websites, and banks. For example, Facebook collects a lot of data on a day-to-day basis. This includes comments, messages, photos, and videos.

Airline companies, on the other hand, fly multiple flights in one day, so they generate a lot of data on a daily basis. Most airlines generate petabytes of data as some collect more than 10 terabytes from 30 minutes of flying time every day.

Online shops or e-commerce websites also generate huge amounts of data, especially since they often collect information that will help them better understand customer behavior.

Banks commonly use big data to prevent credit card fraud, as well as to ensure proper customer service and loyalty.

Big data is also a big help to non-business related industries and companies. In the healthcare industry, for example, it is now easier to monitor and understand medical records, as well as to identify and determine certain diseases. Big data is also used to analyze and predict both man-made and natural disasters.

As such, big data software solutions allow businesses and companies to work with lots of information that helps them learn as much as they can about a particular situation—or about anything. Thus, business and company leaders are able to make better, smarter, and well-informed decisions.


Types of Big Data Software

Generally, big data can be structured or unstructured. Structured big data pertains to data that is already in the databases. In addition, this data is arranged in an orderly way. This is the type used mostly for activities using programming or the computer. Structured data is sourced from humans (when one inputs data into the computer) and machines (or machine-generated such as GPS data).

Unstructured data does not follow a particular format or order so it is the exact opposite of structured data. The most common examples of this big data type are radar data, scientific data, and satellite images. Another good example is any data that was returned to the user after a Google search.

For properly managing big data, businesses and companies use software intended specifically to handle huge amounts of information. There are basically two main types or categories of software to choose from: Big Data Analytics Software and Big Data Processing and Distribution Software.

Big Data Analytics Software is used by businesses working with tons of information that they do not know how or where to use. These businesses also have structured databases. What this software does is take note of data patterns or trends, which can in turn help determine things like various behaviors of users.

On the other hand, big data processing and distribution software deal with unstructured, unmanageable, and unorganized big data. What it does is help make things easier for businesses by organizing and simplifying their data by segmenting information that is similar.

These two types of big data software are essential for those who want convenient, efficient, and effective data processing solution for the huge amount of data they work with from day-to-day.


How to Choose Big Data Software

As the concept of big data and its advantages became popular, more and more software options surfaced to meet this demand. This makes choosing the right big data software solution quite a difficult task. As such, it is important to consider several characteristics of big data that can help identify which software is right for you and your business.

There are four essential characteristics that define big data: volume, veracity, velocity, and variety. Each one is an important component.

When you talk about volume, what you’re pertaining to is the amount or size of data. This is the characteristic that tells you why it is called big. How much data or information is your company or group dealing with on a day-to-day basis? This is one of the essential things you need to answer before deciding on a big data software provider.

Veracity is related to the reliability of the data. How reliable is the data collected? Is there a good level of consistency in the data? How confident are you about the huge amount of data your business collects and need to store?

When you hear the word velocity, the first thing that comes to mind is speed. Velocity is what you get when you focus on how fast or quick data is generated and processed. The movement of data is expected to be in real-time, which means you can use big data software for streaming information into various day-to-day processes and also to help improve the decision-making process. As such, you should choose a big data software solution that allows for continuous and fast data to be generated from different sources like social media sites, devices and business processes.

Finally, there’s variety. Variety pertains to the kinds of data resources (and data) used or involved when it is processed. In the past, the most common options were spreadsheets, as well as databases. In our technologically advanced world, though, there are multiple forms of sources like photos, audio, videos, and even emails.


Benefits of Big Data Software

Businesses, companies, groups, and organizations that use big data software enjoy a myriad of benefits. First and foremost among these benefits is lowered management costs. Since the time spent for a variety of business processes is significantly lessened, there is a significant improvement in both efficiency and production—as well as other business-related activities.

Big data software solutions can also help business, company, and organization leaders to come up with better, more impactful decisions. This is because big data allows them to understand a lot of things like customer behavior, product performance, and other similar factors.

In addition, using a big data software solution can help to detect problems, which means it makes the process of working on defects and failures easier.

For those in the banking industry, especially when dealing with credit cards, big data can help to identify and prevent fraud and other similar incidents. Likewise, those in the customer relations business can benefit greatly when using big data software. Collecting and analyzing customer information, particularly their buying preferences and behavior, can help them understand consumer behavior better.

All in all, big data software answers the need for businesses and companies to properly and safely store huge sizes of data in just one place. It makes business processes more efficient, fast, and reliable.


Common Features of Big Data

2-Factor Authentication Adds an additional layer of security by requiring an extra step in the login process. Usually external devices are required for this or a text message with a verification code is sent to the user when trying to login.
A/B Testing Run split tests for websites, emails, ads and more by serving different versions of the content to different users.
Analytics Analyze and gain insights from data including web traffic, campaign conversions, sensoric output and more.
API Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are programmatic intersections with external products or platforms that allow for custom integrations with your own solutions or other solutions you are using.
Calendar Management Manage and update calendars for scheduling or consolidation of events across teams, departments or business functions.
Contact Management Manage large amounts of personal or business contacts in a centralized system.
Dashboard Dashboards are digital interfaces commonly used to visualise data or give quick access to important features and functions of online platforms. They often serve as an overview gateway in software applications.
Data Export Exporting functionality can be used to streamline the migration of data sets and information across systems, platforms or applications.
Data Import Importing functionality allows you to use data sets from other systems or platforms to cut down on data entry requirements or to more easily migrate records from similar applications you have used in the past.
Data Mining Data Mining is a term commonly used in conjuction with Big Data. It refers to the analysis of large data sets to identify patterns, trends or extract other new information.
Data Visualization Data visualization features render a visual interpretation of data sets through the use of charts, infographics and other visual cues generally in form of a reporting dashboard.
External Integrations Integrations with other software products or platforms to improve efficiency and compatibility across systems.
Forecasting Forecast upcoming expenses, sales, revenue, user levels, etc. through the use of predictive methods and past data.
Keyword Tracking Track keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or item tagging purposes.
Multi-User Supports more than just one user account and generally allows for collaboration with colleagues.
Notifications Includes notification support and sends you alerts with information on important events and other time sensitive instances. For example through push notifications on mobile phones or email notifications.
Scheduling Schedule tasks, resources, appointments, payments, communications, etc.
SEO Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the process of producing content or optimizing and promoting webpages to improve their ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).

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