Big data is an evolving term that, simply put, is used to describe voluminous amounts of data. This can include data that is structured, semi-structured, and even unstructured. The most defining asset is that it has the potential to be mined for information and data assets.
For any compilation of data to be considered as big data, it must be complex or large enough for traditional data processing applications to be inadequate for its processing. Big data is used for predictive analytics, as miners have been able to use data to produce incredibly valuable information, like human behavior.
The media industry, which has recently been moving away from the traditional approach of acquiring information from the conventional mediums – print, television shows, etc., has begun utilizing big data to target specific demographic groups, at optimal times, in the right locations. Their aim is to acquire information about human behavior and how they function on a subconscious level, allowing them to better understand the consumer mindset. This information allows media organizations to tailor their ads and content, making them significantly more appealing and relatable to the consumer.
Big data has allowed media to reach a pivotal point in achieving high levels of relevance and accuracy in targeting for advertising. The influence of big data coupled with algorithms have proven to have a far-reaching impact as we enter a new era of competition within advertisers and media companies.
Companies like eBay and Amazon are one of the largest users of big data assets. For example, eBay currently uses about 7.5, 40 and 40 petabytes (1 million gigabytes – put that into perspective) of data on organic searches, consumer recommendations and merchandising on their marketing and advertising initiatives. Similarly, Amazon is considered to have the third largest database in the world.