Big Data Database Design & Types

Instructor: David Gloag

David has over 40 years of industry experience in software development and information technology and a bachelor of computer science

Big Data is becoming the standard in business today. In this lesson, we'll take a look at databases, Big Data, what is unique about Big Data database design, and some types of Big Data databases.

Dealing with Information

Information allows us to make sense of the things around us. Astronomical information shows us our place in the universe and how vast it is, financial information keeps businesses informed on their performance, and medical information allows doctors to diagnose and treat a variety of ailments. In order to be useful, this information must be stored and organized. For many, the logical choice would be to use a database. But is that enough? Can it cope with the mountain of information we seem to collect? Perhaps not. However, there is an area that focuses on exactly this type of problem. The area is called Big Data.

What is Big Data?

Big data is that part of Information Technology that focuses on huge collections of information. These collections are so big that they can't be handled by conventional means. We can't use applications like Microsoft Access, Excel or their equivalents. Even with the most advanced and powerful computers, these collections push the boundaries of what is possible. And the bar is rising. We ask more every day, and that trend will continue. Clearly, new methods must be developed to address this ever-growing desire, this ever-growing need, to gather and process information.

What is a Database?

A database is an ordered assembly of information that is related to a specific subject. Sometimes, the subject area is extremely broad, at others, very specific. In either case, the imposed structure allows the information to be quickly accessed. Databases affect many aspects of our lives, although we may not be aware of them. This is primarily because databases are tools that work behind the scenes. For example, banking records are stored in a database, sales transactions are stored in a database, and even the contact list on your cell phone is stored in a database.

What is Unique About a Big Data Database Design?

Some would say that big data databases are the same as regular databases, other than the volume of information. This is not entirely true. While they are similar in that they provide structure, organization, and quick access, they differ in a few significant ways. They are:

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