Difference Between Big Data vs Data Science
Big data approach cannot be easily achieved using traditional data analysis methods. Instead, unstructured data requires specialized data modeling techniques, tools, and systems to extract insights and information as needed by organizations. Data science is a scientific approach that applies mathematical and statistical ideas and computer tools for processing big data. Data science is a specialized field that combines multiple areas such as statistics, mathematics, intelligent data capture techniques, data cleansing, mining and programming to prepare and align big data for intelligent analysis to extract insights and information.
Currently, all of us are witnessing an unprecedented growth of information generated worldwide and on the internet to result in the concept of big data. Data science is quite a challenging area due to the complexities involved in combining and applying different methods, algorithms, and complex programming techniques to perform intelligent analysis in large volumes of data. Hence, the field of data science has evolved from big data, or big data and data science are inseparable.
This concept refers to the large collection of heterogeneous data from different sources and is not usually available in standard database formats we are usually aware of. Big data encompasses all types of data namely structured, semi-structured and unstructured information which can be easily found on the internet.
Big data includes:
- Unstructured data – social networks, emails, blogs, tweets, digital images, digital audio/video feeds, online data sources, mobile data, sensor data, web pages, and so on.
- Semi-structured – XML files, system log files, text files, etc.
- Structured data – RDBMS (databases), OLTP, transaction data, and other structured data formats.
Therefore, all data and information irrespective of its type or format can be understood as big data. Big data processing usually begins with aggregating data from multiple sources.
Figure: An example of data sources for big data
Head to Head Comparison Between Big Data and Data Science (Infographics)
Below are the top 5 comparisons between Big Data vs Data Science:
Key Differences Between Big Data and Data Science
Provided below are some of the main differences between big data vs data science concepts:
- Organizations need big data to improve efficiencies, understand new markets, and enhance competitiveness whereas data science provides the methods or mechanisms to understand and utilize the potential of big data in a timely manner.
- Currently, for organizations, there is no limit to the amount of valuable data that can be collected, but to use all this data to extract meaningful information for organizational decisions, data science is needed.
- Big data is characterized by its velocity variety and volume (popularly known as 3Vs), while data science provides the methods or techniques to analyze data characterized by 3Vs.
- Big data provides the potential for performance. However, digging out insight information from big data for utilizing its potential for enhancing performance is a significant challenge. Data science uses theoretical and experimental approaches in addition to deductive and inductive reasoning. It takes responsibility to uncover all hidden insightful information from a complex mesh of unstructured data thus supporting organizations to realize the potential of big data.
- Big data analysis performs mining of useful information from large volumes of datasets. Contrary to analysis, data science makes use of machine learning algorithms and statistical methods to train the computer to learn without much programming to make predictions from big data. Hence data science must not be confused with big data analytics.
- Big data relates more to technology (Hadoop, Java, Hive, etc.), distributed computing, and analytics tools and software. This is opposed to data science which focuses on strategies for business decisions, data dissemination using mathematics, statistics and data structures and methods mentioned earlier.
From the above differences between big data and data science, it may be noted that data science is included in the concept of big data. Data science plays an important role in many application areas. Data science works on big data to derive useful insights through a predictive analysis where results are used to make smart decisions. Therefore, data science is included in big data rather than the other way round.
Big Data vs Data Science Comparison Table
The table below provides the fundamental differences between big data and data science:
|Basis for Comparison||Big Data||Data Science|
|Basis of formation||
The emerging field of big data and data science is explored in this post. Big data is here to stay in the coming years because according to current data growth trends, new data will be generated at the rate of 1.7 million MB per second by 2020 according to estimates by Forbes Magazine. This growth of big data will have immense potential and must be managed effectively by organizations. The area of data science is explored here for its role in realizing the potential of big data. Data science is evolving rapidly with new techniques developed continuously which can support data science professionals into the future.
This has been a guide to Big Data vs Data Science. Here we discuss the head to head comparison, key differences, and comparison table respectively. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –
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- Data Science and Its Growing Importance