What is big data ? Definition, Characteristics and Benefits

what is big data

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Definition: Big Data? What is it?

Well, the name itself suggests what big data is, as a result, this term can be defined in various types. 

Big data has it’s specific characteristics. The Oxford dictionary defines it as “Extremely large datasets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.”

But in addition to this, in simple words, “Big Data” is a large amount of information on which computer can perform operations. The term is associated with analysis, problem-solving, visualizing and more.


Big data can be classified into two basic types :

  1. Structured
  2. Unstructured
  3. Semi-Structured

Structured :

The data which can be stored and processed in a fixed format is structured data. In addition to this, Simply consider data in a table.  So, An table of students’ or employees’ information would be a perfect example to say.


Completely opposite to the structured type, in which the data can not be processed in a fixed format. Therefore, It does not store the information in the tabular format. So, an ideal example is the YouTube video.


The combination of both the forms stated above is what the semi-structured form is. It does appear as a structured but it’s not saved in RDBMS tabular form. So, information stored in the XML file is an example of a semi-structured form.

Big Data Characteristics:

big data what is
  • Volume

First of all, the term ‘Big’ in big data itself is related to the size of the information which is huge. This term does determine whether to consider this information as big or not.

  • Velocity

The speed at which the information is generated and especially processed.

  • Variety

The type has to be processed.

  • Variability

Inconsistency at various points.

  • Veracity

Quantity can vary most of the time.


Finally, the benefits.

By processing, Businesses can make a good process by changing their business strategy.

The government can utilize this information for more public projects.

Banking environment can be beneficial by using this as can improve security.

For the manufacturing industry, this analysis clearly is a good technique and as a result, should be used regularly.

Better customer support is what every company desires to have and hence, by using analytics it can be improved.

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