Big Data: A guide for beginners

The world has undergone a massive change since the Internet entered our lives. It continues to change as more and more people gain access to the internet. In the last five years, there were over a billion internet users all over the world. It is estimated that about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. Such a massive amount of data has a lot of potential hidden in them. 

It can be analysed and used to understand patterns and trends in consumers and help businesses to modify their products or marketing strategies. It is referred to such a large amount of data that can be analysed for knowledge and used for machine learning purposes. Previously, we had access to large amounts of data too. 

But storing them was a very expensive affair. But now, with more computing power and cheaper storage alternatives, like cloud storage, this industry is flourishing in the tech world. It is clearly going to be one of the hottest jobs in the coming years.

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Roles in this industry

There are many different roles that an individual can take up in this industry. However, broadly, it can be categorized into two groups: Engineering and Analytics.

Big data engineering:  This deals with planning and maintaining a system to handle large amounts of data. These systems are put in place to make relevant data available for various internal applications.

Big data analytics: This is about using large amounts of data from the systems and analysing trends and patterns from the data. It also deals with developing various prediction and classification algorithms from the data.

So, which field is most suitable for you? It will depend on your interest and your background. However, both these roles are equally essential in the big data industry. The world of big data is quite dynamic and it keeps changing. So, you can expect exciting innovations happening in this field in the coming years.


Your background knowledge will be given a lot of weight when you are entering this field. The industries require similar skill sets as machine learning industries and data science industries. Two extremely important skills are:

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  1. Mathematics and Statistics: You should be well-versed in several topics like calculus, linear algebra, probability and statistics. It will help you learn different machine learning techniques like linear and logistic regression, decision trees, random forests, KNN’s and vector machines.
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  1. Programming: You have to get yourself acquainted with a few programming languages if you want to deal with it. The most popular programming languages in this field are R and Python. Learn more about visualisation, data analysis and machine languages. For Python, you need to learn about NumPy, Pandas, SciPy, scikit-learn, etc. If you are going for R, then learn diplyr, readr, tidyr, etc. To be a data scientist, you have to be well-versed with SQL too.

Technologies in demand

Now, you know the basics and what your background should be if you want to enter this field. However, not every technology is equally respected in this Industry. While this industry is always evolving, these technologies have made a positive mark in this industry:

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Apache Hadoop: This is an open-source software framework which allows large scale processing of data sets on clusters of commodity hardware. A few components of Hadoop which are in high demand are Pig, Hive, HDFS, HBase, etc.

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  • Amazon S3: This is a cloud tool which is quite popular in the big data field. It is best if you are familiar with it.
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  • Apache Spark: Like Hadoop, this is another big data computation framework which is gaining a lot of popularity in the field.
  • NoSQL: Many traditional SQL databases like Oracle and DB2 are getting replaced by NoSQL databases which include MongoDB, Couchbase, etc.

If you have the knowledge and if you constantly work to improve your skills, then getting hired in this industry is not difficult. Just keep yourself updated with the latest technology, interact with the community of coders, and work on yourself. If you wish to take a course on data science, Coding Ninjas has just the best one to offer. Be patient and persistent and one day, you will receive your desired job offer!

To learn more about the latest technologies in programming, click here.