Nowadays, individuals, companies, industries, and governments are cumulatively storing information on different issues. The significant amounts of data being gathered result from the extensive use of technology in the everyday activities of the people as well as the functioning of the organizations. Big data is being generated on social media sites, by public institutions, global information network, and mobile phone usage, among others. The continuous growth in the global use of technology has led to the advancement of techniques, tools, and applications able to handle the massive amounts of data from the databases (Nberger & Cukier, 2013). The improvement of the methods, approaches, and tools used to store information aims at safeguarding data and making the utilization of the specialized databases more efficient and simple. The large loads of information in the Internet and database systems are referred to as Big data (Li, Hai, Yang, & Cuzzocrea, 2015). This essay will aim at identifying the issues related to big data in management information systems (MIS). Further, the article will discuss the current, emerging and possible trends of big data management.
Types of Big Data
The nature of big data available in management information systems depends on the area of its generation and application. Big data can be classified into different types that include texts, numbers, images, videos or audio. These categories influence the size of data and are used to represent its volumes and kinds (Nberger & Cukier, 2013). For example, in the banking sector, most of the information in the database will be either numerical or textual while the presentation of sites in tourism will be imaged. Moreover, in the visual advertisement field, the video clips will be primarily utilized to communicate the information effectively. Therefore, many MISs will comprise different kinds of big data depending on the activities handled by the industry sector. Today, with the advancement and embracement of technology in almost all the areas of human activities, large amounts of data have been generated and are stored in different locations for reference and future use.
Importance of Big Data
The ideal way of storing the information generated from every sector is to establish big data in the sector’s management information system. The importance of big data lays in its ability to aid in data storage, increase computation capacity, and raise data availability. Big data systems help in compiling all the relevant information on a subject and keeping it safe to avoid its loss. For example, a company’s statistics will be saved in the management information systems to help its management track the progress of the company even after 20 years of its operation. In a span of 20 years, physical data would possibly be lost or become difficult to handle and interpret. However, due to the use of the management information systems, every aspect of a company’s functioning can be analyzed, presented, and stored for the analysis and future use. Moreover, the company can retrieve data quickly and easily from the system if a need arises. Such improved availability of the information ensures the simplicity of its retrieval as compared to the manual processing and search of the documents, which eventually would be more challenging and consume much time. Therefore, big data in the management information systems helps to save time and increase the convenience of data retrieval despite the period of its storage and the moment of generation. Additionally, with the big data in the MIS, more information is made available for the company and its stakeholders. The stored information enables referencing, comparison, and study of the trends in an enterprise’s performance thus allowing to identify the changes, effects, and influences of its prior actions and policies on the current state and market position. As a result, the company can quickly improve its operations and increase the effectiveness of its policies, decisions, and thus sustainability. Therefore, big data is essential for the progress of an organization in every sector. Good management of the databases will boost the success of the administration in every industry.
Characterization of Big Data
Big data can be characterized according to variety, velocity, and volume. According to the varietyaspect, the information can be either structured or unstructured. Structured data means that the information is well-organized and classified into the categories that are easily searchable. Structured data can be presented in classified spreadsheets or files. At the same time, the unstructured data represents the opposite approach to data handling and storage. For example, data in the informal systems is not classified but is fed into the system without the accurate analysis or grouping. The unstructured information requires filtering of the search and, therefore, consumes more time before being retrieved adequately. Notably, big data comprises both the structured and unstructured information.
Regarding velocity, big data is grouped into a batch or streaming data. A batch is a set of information that is released at once while streaming data is the uninterrupted flow of information as an event or action unfolds. A batch is a record of the collected information and is done in portions. Therefore, batch data does not need high processing speed. However, streaming data requires a fast, steady rate that ensures the effectiveness of a system or application used to capture and transmit the information. Every sector has a preferred method of big data velocity depending on its nature of work. For example, the global broadcast sector will invest in streaming data to ensure time efficiently on the news they capture. However, a company in the hotel industry will record its data in batches after every day to maximize the resources used and increase the convenience of data handling.
Moreover, big data systems can be categorized depending on their size. The systems can either be terabyte or zettabyte. A small or medium scale sector will use a terabyte size system to store its information because it has less volume to store. However, a large area will use a larger size database such as zettabyte. For example, a regional office of a global company such as Red Bull Inc. will use the terabyte system to store its data. However, the company’s headquarters will be linked to all 130 regional systems. Therefore, the headquarters office will need a larger storage system to manage its operations efficiently. A preferred size of the system to be used in this case will be zettabyte. The size of a sector and the frequency of the events and operations in it determine the most appropriate size, speed, and variety of the data storage tools and approaches to be used. The bigger, urgent, sensitive, and busy a sector is the higher quality features are needed for its data systems and vice versa. However, every firm should adopt the most efficient and suitable approaches to increase the management of the data generated over an extended period.
Current State of Big Data
Management Information Systems (MIS) have been adopted in many industries to increase the productivity of their operations. The MIS systems assist the companies’ management to coordinate, supervise, direct and delegate the functions of the employees and company departments, in general. Therefore, more firms and sectors are embracing the use of these systems to achieve the high standards of efficiency in management. Moreover, with the extensive use of technology and growing scales of activities, it is almost inevitable to avoid the use of MIS. As a result, various techniques have been invented to store the generated information. Today, big data is available in every technologically equipped sector. The industries that utilize big data systems range from individuals or firms, government regulators, technology providers, and other indirect beneficiaries. All the users are involved in identical activities where they generate, aggregate, analyze, and consume the data concerning their activities. According to Schmarzo (2013), on the consumption of the data, its value is realized. Therefore, the efficiency of the big data system is based on how helpful the information derived been for ensuring the effectiveness of the management roles.
Current Challenges of Big Data in MIS
However, despite the extensive use of big data systems in management, some firms attain more gains from it than the others. Such difference is caused by various factors in the sector as well as in the administration teams. Regarding the management team, the emphasis should be made on its ability to determine and design the most useful database for a firm, which is the key to raising it efficiency. The expertise of the management skills in information handling contributes to the company’s success, as well (Kroenke, 2008). In the current industries, firms have a different level of knowledge in the big data management. The firms with the highest expertise enjoy more gains from the management information systems of big data. According to a recent study in the USA, the companies were ranked by their expertise in big data usage. The firms were grouped from the highest level of expertise to the lowest one in the information sector. The order ranged from the top most being computer and mobile phone companies, government, finance and insurance, management of businesses, education sector, manufacturing, wholesale and trade, utilities, natural resources, and health industry among others (Prajapati, 2015).
The nature of the work involved in each area causes the difference in the skills of the staff. Moreover, some firms are in a better financial position to hire the experts, and they employ the best professionals. Such companies include the government, finance and insurance, and the education sector compared to the health industry. The personnel’s expertise in different areas determines the achievements or the gains attained from the information management system.
Moreover, the ability of a firm to outsource for a better management of their MIS increases the chances of having more elaborate big data systems and maximizing their efficiency to attain a better performance of the business. Therefore, the quality of big data in the MIS field of each organization depends entirely on the resources invested. For example, outsourcing is expensive but offers an option of getting professionals that are more skilled.
On the other hand, with the advancement of the technology, the management information systems require improvement based on the demand for big data. The rate of development is too high to ensure that all the information is included in the MIS. Therefore, a gap has been created in linking the data systems with big data of the companies. Thus, new technological approaches, applications, and tools are being developed to ensure that the companies accommodate to the changes. Therefore, the introduction of more advanced features is expected regarding the size, velocity, and the variety of big data. Indeed, continuous changes and advancements are to be made to meet the growing demands of the world. Internet providers should identify ways to improve the quality of their products to integrate more systems and data into one large database. Therefore, the big data field is a dynamic field that will continue to develop and improve to ease the data processing and maximize the efficiency in the field of MIS.
Future Trends in Big Data Sector
The demand for improved systems with higher scalability, dynamicity, context, quality, and usage of big data is likely to increase over time. Therefore, the management information system sector will advance more and improve on the data operators and modalities. The data modalities that are likely to be addressed include signal, multimedia, structures, ontologisms, texts, and networks. In the new future, signals with high Mbps will be invented to increase the velocity of data management (Nberger & Cukier, 2013). Moreover, with the continuous use of technology more users learn about the operations and demand for big data. Therefore, more people are likely to invest in the big data management thus giving an opportunity for the development and enriching this sphere with new approaches and innovations. The competition in the industries will lower the cost involved in the service provision and force the networks to improve their quality to attain a competitive advantage over their rivals in the same industry. As a result, users will enjoy higher quality services from the diverse networks (Schmarzo, 2013).
Additionally, the demand for big data is increasingly high in the world, and the Internet aims at making the world a global village. Therefore, the service providers work on the development of a big data system that will be well managed and easy to operate. Soon, the service providers are likely to achieve this target (Ohlhorst, 2013). For example, recently, the different search engines have structured different big data for various sectors that are used across the world. Google Inc. has invested in the big data systems and has several other rivals such as Yahoo, MSN, Ask, among others. These companies are likely to combine soon and ensure that they cover all the data provided in different sectors to increase their profit margins and effectiveness.
Moreover, better applications are prone to be designed, which will facilitate better data operators. The data operators’ roles include data collection, preparation, presentation, modeling, and visualization, which are also likely to be enhanced over time. Therefore, the use of the mobile applications and personal computers in most activities will increase the demand for better systems that would withstand the big amounts of data (Kroenke, 2009). The automation of many activities will ensure that big data is availed efficiently to users. Besides, one of the most promising method to attract more users is implementing advanced mobile applications (Nberger & Cukier, 2013).
Personal View on Big Data
Big data has substantially helped in research and access to information. The Internet has made it easier for people to learn, relate, and store information on reports, events, and other occurrences. Big data has highly contributed to the growth of sectors through facilitating systematic comparisons and broad information accessibility. Indeed, the availability of a big data system is a competitive advantage for every sector (Ohlhorst, 2013).
Big data empowers, guides, and teaches people on how to make critical decisions on the strategic approaches and changes to be made in their management responsibilities and strategies. Therefore, it is of importance for every enterprise or entire industry sectors to maintain big data systems on their functioning for reference and use by the existing and future employees. Moreover, it is easier to identify the impact of every change experienced due to the increased data accessibility, which enables adequate comparison of pre- and post- implementation of changes on the performance of the film.
Additionally, big data has helped people to innovate critical approaches to their operations to raise productivity. For example, individuals can research and implement data on technical processes and develop software similar to that used by the prime companies that have managed to become the best in the market (Catlett, 2013). The information has also helped to control different industries, avoid mistakes or adopt the right approaches to the companies’ operations. Therefore, a good management utilizes the opportunity availed by the ample information available to make effective decisions.
Big data has helped the world evolve faster, more efficiently, and interrelate well despite the distance. For example, due to big data, an institution in Australia can easily relate to the performance and operations of the same organization in Africa. The firms can compare and contrast their performance with the more fortunate counterparts, learning on issues that bring differences in their performance thus enhance their productivity. It may be done through research and studies of the information on the issues of concern. Therefore, big data is a resource for a company or sector to boost its growth and learn more about the possible challenges. In my opinion, individuals, as well as large-scale and small firms should invest in big data to attain a competitive advantage over their competitors.
Big data has become a useful resource for industries to reach growth and increase productivity. More sectors recognize the importance of big data and invest it its development to boost their performance. However, more expertise is needed to educate people on the how to maximize the use of big data to ensure its efficient use and application.