Big Data is not just a fad or a buzz terminology. The rate at which societies in developed and developing countries generate data has become a goldmine for organizations seeking to use large data sets to understand their audience and improve their performance.
This article concisely discusses the pros or advantages, as well as the importance of Big Data, in addition to its cons or disadvantages.
The Pros and Importance of Big Data
Improves Organizational Performance
One of the biggest benefits of Big Data is that it allows organizations to improve their performance. Having the capability to process enormous amounts of data means having the capacity to make decisions supported by information.
Informed decision-making in an organizational setting can mean a lot of things. Examples include better marketing and sales strategy, improved business processes, and the ability to develop and introduce new products based on trends.
Empowers The Digital Information Age
Another advantage of Big Data that in turn, translates further to its critical importance is that it promotes further the developments in the digital information age. Note that the operations of companies such as Google and Amazon are dependent on the efficient analysis of large data sets.
Big Data also complements artificial intelligence. Specific goals or fields of AI such as machine learning and natural language processing require huge volumes of data for them to have a higher degree of autonomy that can demonstrate human-like intelligence.
Benefits Even Non-Profit Organizations
Aside from businesses, governments and the scientific community benefit from Big Data. Law enforcement agencies use it to predict crime patterns and solve or prevent crimes. Intelligence agencies regularly process data to promote national security.
In scientific research, having the capability to process large data sets efficiently augments the research capabilities of laboratories. Medical researchers use Big Data to develop new treatments or understand better diseases.
The Cons of and Issues with Big Data
Risks Concerning Privacy and Security
One of the biggest disadvantages or drawbacks of Big Data involves concerns of privacy and security. Organizations need to ensure that the way they collect and analyze data remains within acceptable legal and ethical standards.
Data privacy laws have been developed and enforced to avoid organizations from extensively exploiting the data obtained from the public. What this means for organizations is that they need to understand laws applicable to them and comply to prevent legal sanctions.
Costs and Challenges in Implementation
Processing large data sets has costs. These costs come from the need to build and maintain a suitable hardware and software infrastructure, as well as hire and retain professionals specializing in fields such as network management, computer science, programming, and data science, among others.
Small organizations might have a hard time capitalizing on the benefits of Big Data because of their limited resources. In other words, it appears that large organizations only have the inherent capabilities to develop and implement Big Data.
Technical Problems and Limitations
The limitations of Big Data center on the fact that the information extracted from mining or processing enormous amounts of data are not always reliable. There is a need to place these information within their social, political, and economic contexts.
In considering the V model of Big Data, there are issues about volume, veracity, and velocity. Adding more data does not solve problem of bias, and there also concerns over the fact that large data sets can raise reproducibility problems.