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What do companies use Big Data for

There is no doubt, Big Data is one of the most important drivers of digital transformation, but data alone is no guarantee for success. During our recent survey on The State of Big Data in the UK, we asked 100 Big Data strategists, architects and users what do they use, or plan to use, Big Data for.

This question has to do largely with the use case and the speed at which the data needs to be processed. Typically, companies will use batch or interactive analytics to process historical and archived data, where time is not so critical and can afford to wait a few hours or days (depending on the task) to get a result. Examples for use cases for batch processing and analytics can span from payroll to trade audits for compliance. Generally, batch processing and interactive analytics are best suited to support:

  • Long-term, strategic operational and business decision making
  • Reporting, trends analysis, predictive/prescriptive modelling and scenario analysis

MapReduce and Hive are useful tools for batch processing and analytics.

In other instances, data needs to be processed instantly, like transactions taking place at a bank’s ATM or an e-Commerce site. This is when real-time or near real-time processing capabilities are required, where there is a continuous flow of data input, processing and output. Real-time analytics are best suited to support:

  • Transactional environments (banks, trade floors, processors, retailers, online gambling etc)
  • Mission-critical environments (air traffic management, emergency services, defence etc)
  • AI-enabled communications (call centres, chatbots, etc)

Spark is a great tool to use for real-time processing.

What do companies use Big Data for

Most of the respondents have opted for a combination of both batch and real-time, showing the increasing effort of companies to give customers real-time access to information, whether this is presenting customers with offers in real-time, or detecting fraudulent transactions as they happen.

If you would like to find out more about how Big Data could help you make the most out of your current infrastructure while enabling you to open your digital horizons, do give us a call at +44 (0)203 475 7980 or email us at

Other useful links:

Big Data Services

The Big Data 'Problem'

What is Big Data

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