Data Dump: Understanding Those Pesky Data Terms And Phrases
Of course, for any business, data is incredibly important. And, you’ve probably already experienced your fair share of data services. But, it can get a little confusing when you start to look a bit deeper into this area. The terminology that’s used and the phrases that are spun mean nearly nothing to most people. Without this knowledge, though, how are supposed to use these services? This post will go through the terms and phrases that data companies use, to help you to get a better understanding.
In the past, a cloud was simply an area of a network that was invisible to you. So, basically anything outside of your own network. In recent years, though, this term has been changed a little. Nowadays, this term refers to data that is stored online. Cloud services will usually use servers that are filled with drives, all acting as one. Your data is stored across these drives, with regular backups being made. This makes it much harder for your data to be lost or compromised, while also increasing bandwidth.
- Cloud Migrations
Sometimes, a business will want to move their data from one cloud service to another. Usually, it would take far too long to download all of the data and then reupload it to the new service. So, migrations are used. A data migration involves using the details of the new server to tell the old one where to move the data. This means that the transfer can be done autonomously, with as little human interaction as possible.
- Cloud Integration
In a lot of cases, companies will have their data spread across multiple services. This usually happens as a result of different departments having access to their own budgets. When data needs to be shared amongst services, a cloud integration platform is required. They will consolidate all of the data so that it can be accessed from one platform. The data is still stored across multiple services, but it’s accessible from the same place.
- Hybrid Integrations
Sometimes, it’s best for a business to store their data across a mix of different methods. For example, some companies will store their emails on their own servers, as well as a cloud server. This gives the company access to the data, even if they lose their internet connection or their servers fail. These systems can be quite expensive to run, though. So, they’re usually reserved for bigger businesses.
Bandwidth is mentioned above, but few people really know what it means. It’s often confused with download speed, but they’re quite different. Bandwidth is the total amount of data that can be moved between two nodes at the same time. It takes into account not only the digital aspects but also physical aspects of a network. So, say the server that your data is on has drives that can only transfer data at 10MB/second. Even if your download speed is much faster, you will be restricted to the bandwidth of the servers.
- File Formats
When a computer stores something, it has to do so in a way that it can read. Unfortunately, computers can’t view images or text files in the way that a human can. It has to be told where spaces are, which colors occupy each pixel, and pretty much anything related to the file. Different companies have come up with different ways to do this, which has resulted in dozens of file formats being created. For text documents, it’s not so important. But, for images and video, the format can drastically change the file size and quality.
- File Sizes
Most files are written using sequences of ASCII characters, that the computer can read. You can think of this as something similar to a programming language; something that a human can write, for a computer to read. The more data that you have in a file, that larger the file will be. This increases the file’s size. File sizes are measured in bytes, with prefixes to make it easier to manage. For example, one million bytes is represented as a megabyte. This system is very similar to physical measurements, like grams and tons.
- Big Data
Some businesses will undergo surveys which involve collecting huge amounts of data. This information is used to track trends and see where their business can improve. This sort of data is known as big data. It usually requires a computer to manage and is hard for a human to sort.
Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of modern data terminology. There’s much more, so you might have to do some research to find the phrase that’s making you struggle the most. But, with the information here, you should be able to figure out what everything means, by yourself.