What Is The Difference Between Big Data and Cloud Computing?

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What Is The Difference Between Big Data and Cloud Computing?

May 27, 2021
2 minutes

If your world revolves around developing technologies, you have definitely heard or experienced big data and cloud computing. These two terms go hand-in-hand with nearly all cloud services providing big data analytics. However, despite its increasing popularity, most people, including those in the tech world, can’t differentiate between these two terms. Read on to understand the differences and the relationship between big data and cloud computing.

What is Big Data?

As the name suggests, big data involves large sets of data, either structured or unstructured, which can be processed further to extract meaningful conclusions. Large data sets are generated on the internet daily, and traditional machines cannot handle such amounts. Therefore, big data analytics help businesses and other users collect, organize, and analyze this data to provide valuable insights.

Note that it isn’t the amount of data that goes into the system that matters. What matters is what organizations do with such a large volume of data. Unfortunately, collected raw data comes from various sources and in different formats. Therefore, storing such data was challenging or impossible with traditional tools. With the help of new data analytics technology, organizing large amounts of data is easy, especially since computers do the hard work.

Characteristics that Define Big Data

Some important characteristics define big data. They include;

  • Volume – big data has to be in huge volumes and collected from multiple sources. Businesses and organizations collect a lot of raw data, which should be sorted out and analyzed to provide business insights.
  • Velocity – collected data should be streamed unprecedentedly and systematically analyzed. Various technologies are used to deal with large amounts of raw data.
  • Variety – collected big data comes in various formats, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured. They could also be financial transactions, text documents, audio, or video.

What is Cloud computing?

Cloud computing solves the increasing demand for computing resources on the internet. It provides the required infrastructure for collecting and storing information. Instead of personal computers or local servers, cloud computing leverages remote servers to process and manage large chunks of data. Cloud computing has the following service models;

  1. Software as a Service – this involves licensing software applications to users through the internet. This is an on-demand service that charges users a subscription fee to use cloud-based applications.
  2. Platform as a Service – PaaS is a complex cloud computing model that highly resembles the Software as a Service model. However, instead of providing software licenses to users, the model creates a platform that developers can share Software and hardware tools. Amazon Web Service is a popular example of PaaS cloud computing.
  3. Infrastructure as a Service – This is mainly computing infrastructure where cloud providers provide hardware components on a pay-per-use basis. Best examples of IaaS include DropBox and Google Drive, where companies can provide data storage space to users.
  4. Database as a Service – this is a growing aspect of cloud computing that provides database access to users via the cloud. What this means is that users can access data without buying an entire database.

Simply put, cloud computing does all the heavy lifting, which starts from collecting data from multiple sources, processing, and availing it in cyberspace. This makes all your information accessible through the internet.

Key Differences Between Cloud Computing and Big Data

Based on the interpretations above, below are the key differences between big data and cloud computing;

  • Cloud computing revolves around the provision of computer resources and services over a network, while big data involves tackling challenges brought about by huge amounts of data that traditional collection and analysis tools cannot handle.
  • Cloud computing stores information in physical servers that are controlled and maintained bycloud computing service providers. Users can access this information through the internet. On the other hand, big data breaks the data sets into small and manageable chunks that are distributed into various computer systems to provide insights.
  • Businesses and organizations can deploy big data solutions through PaaS or SaaS cloud models. This explains the interdependency between big data and cloud computing.
  • Big data explores previously ignored data in an organization to provide valuable insights that can drive decision-making in a business, while cloud computing offers speed and flexibility in IT deployments, which streamlines the operations in an organization.

The Bottom Line

Big data and cloud computing are trending tech terms that have affected how humans and organizations operate. Big data and cloud computing benefits apply to both small and established businesses and play a huge role in promoting a digital society.

Proper use of big data and cloud computing allows businesses with limited resources to utilize previously collected data that was not analyzed due to restricted handling capacity. Note that the success of these two heavily relies on the expertise of data handlers. Contact Sisu Data if your business needs any help.