As the technological world around us is advancing daily, people now depend on electronic methods to secure information. We are in a digital era, where data is present online everywhere. It may be social media, businesses, search engines, and much more. This data plays a crucial role in forming and structuring our activities and leading us to our potential needs. Read on to understand this term better and get insights into the characteristics of big data.  

Data can be analyzed in several forms depending on the type of firm that you own. And to note, every sector in our life depends on the data acquired daily. You can now imagine how much information is collected each day and every second. The sum of the data obtained by activities performed by individuals is called Big Data.

What is Big Data?

The simplest way to explain the meaning of Big Data is a collection of information that is either organized or vague. This data is obtainable from a client’s profile information, servers, purchase orders, and relatable data. Financial connections, records, search engine analysis, and staff records also come under it. In large organizations, the data changes and records new information, every second. 

However, the quantity of data that a firm has does not matter. The crucial factor is how the firm is dealing with it. Several companies analyze and track records from this data to acquire insights and gain capital. This scrutiny helps in making efficient business decisions and recognizing failure patterns.

Big data is beneficial for companies in plenty of ways. It helps in reducing redundant costs, improving profits, and better business patterns. Moreover, storing this big data via traditional means is nearly impossible. Therefore, firms hire data specialists that aid in holding this information via modern tools and techniques. Let’s check out the types and characteristics of big data.

Types of Big Data

1. Structured data

This type of data is well organized and defined by data analysts. The format of data is in a way that both human beings and systems can easily understand. User’s store, analyze and record this information in a particular format. This kind of data has a set model to follow.

You can recognize this data if the information is well set in columns and rows. The two primary sources of Structured Data are:

Human-generated data: This kind of data is usually personal information, passwords, credentials, and more. It is any data that people search or provide to severs.

Device-generated data: The collection of this data occurs via machines that is sensors, servers, GPS, and more. This kind of data is usually automatically generated. 

2. Unstructured data

When a set of data is not well-defined and is vague, it is called unstructured data. This kind of data is disorderly, and one cannot easily understand, analyze or use it. There are many varying factors, and the structure lacks consistency. Almost, every data that you may come across falls under this category.

It is usually on social media platforms in the form of comments, likes, and posts. All images and clips you watch on these platforms and the message you send also come under this category. 

3. Semi-structured data

This data is not wholly structured but has some portions that are well-organized. It does not follow any particular pattern, so users consider it unstructured data most of the time. Files and documents usually come in this category. 

Characteristics of Big Data (5V’s)


By size, we mean the quantity of data collected and generated by large firms every second and each day. The sources of this data may vary, and usually, this information is obtainable from social media, IoT devices, AV content, financial connections, and client information.

Earlier storing and preserving this data was not manageable due to a lack of technological methods. However, now many systems offer people several benefits to store their data with ease and simplicity. The larger the data size, the more its value is in the market. Also, the volume of data helps in understanding whether it is a Big data.


The second crucial trait of Big Data is its variety. This category refers to the varied sources of data. Over the years, users notice a change in the sources that help obtain data. Before, it is only available on spreadsheets and data columns. However, now this data is also obtainable from digital sources like videos, PDFs, posts, and more. This category decides how the data should be stored and analyzed for efficient use. 


The meaning of the word velocity makes it simpler to recognize the function of this trait. It means the speed at which the firm collects its data. The rate of collecting data determines how fast the processing will be. It is a vital factor because only after analyzing and processing data will it meets users’ expectations.

An enormous quantity of data is produced by servers, sensors, and social media each day. And this data does not pause but is a continuous process. If the information is not consistent and ongoing, you will gain no benefits by scheming it.


One of the essential characteristics of big data is its value. Storing a large amount of data will not benefit you, but its value will. If you store valuable data into your system, then you are likely to see progress soon.


This trait defines the authenticity of the data. It focuses on filtering out all the unnecessary information and separating vital data. Also, it aids in the better data processing. The quality of data and its worthiness matters the most in Big Data. If data is not reliable, your processing will yield no benefits. With the help of this trait, a business can reduce complexity and improve data clarity. 

Applications of Big Data

Big Data is a survival for the huge IT industries of this era. Without data, they will fail to function efficiently. Many businesses and firms are accepting this technology to bring a positive change in functioning. 

Some of the most widely seen applications of Big Data are in the following sectors:


Not just tourism but also the travel sector is one of the prominent users of this technology. It assists in analyzing and recording requirements and future needs for travel services. Also, gathering information about different places and improving facilities becomes easier. 

Finance and Banking

This sector does not only use Big Data technology but necessitates it for its functioning. It helps in analyzing and predicting customer behavior and improving the patterns according to their feedbacks. Big Data is already making a big difference for the finance and banking sector. It is one of the best methods to predict and improve your service. The primary focus of it is to provide hassle-free and smooth services for customer benefits. 


Media is one of the vital sectors for each country, and it needs Big Data to store all the authentic information it acquires. Multimedia platforms use modern-day technologies and systems to keep the various data that it collects every second.

Government and Defence 

Nowadays, the government is also taking benefit of this modern-day solution to store their information. Each person knows the massive data that government bodies need to preserve and keep. All of this data is valuable and must be safe. Also, military systems use this technique to better their services and get timely data during emergencies.

Big Data is not just vital for the sectors above but for even large industries and businesses. It helps people organize well and get the data whenever they need it. Also, understand the characteristics of big data to implement this technology well. People in today’s world are widely accepting this modern technology because of its impressive benefits.