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Student videos

Big Data

  • Levels: AS, A Level, IB, BTEC Level 3
  • Exam boards: AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

This short revision video introduces the concept of big data.

Big Data (Introduction for Business Students)

What is big data?

Big data is the process of collecting and analysing large data sets from traditional and digital sources to identify trends and patterns that can be used in decision-making.

These large data sets are both structured (e.g. sales transactions from an online store) and unstructured (e.g. posts) on social media.

The quantity of data generated is growing exponentially, including data generated by:

Retail e-commerce databases
User-interactions with websites and mobile apps
Usage of logistics, transportation systems, financial and health care
Social media data
Location data (e.g. GPS-generated)
Internet of Things (IoT) data generated
New forms of scientific data (e.g. human genome analysis)

Some important uses of big data include:

Tracking and monitoring the performance, safety and reliability of operational equipment (e.g. data generated by sensors)

Generating marketing insights into the needs and wants of customers, based on the transactions, feedback, comments (e.g. from e-commerce analytics, social media posts). Big data is revolutionising traditional market research.

Improved decision-making - for example analysing the real-time impact of pricing changes or other elements of the marketing mix (the use of big data to drive dynamic pricing is a great example of this).

Better security of business systems: big data can be analysed to identify unusual activity, for example on secure-access systems

More efficient management of capacity: the increasing use of big data to inform decision-making about capacity management (e.g, in transportation and logistics systems) is a great example of how big data can help a business operate more efficiently

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