Big data can provide your business with invaluable insights and strategic direction, but the files can also be large and unwieldy. If you routinely work with big data files, you’ll need a set of strategies that allow you to manipulate them, send them, and manage them efficiently.
Use the Right Software
First, it’s important to use the right software at every step of the process, from gathering and storing the data to sending your big data files as fast as possible. Good software will help you by:
· Reducing file size through optimization. Some software may be able to help you reduce the size of your big data files by storing the data in a specific format, compressing your file, or utilizing other optimization strategies.
· Easing navigation. Big data tools often attempt to make it easier to navigate your data, whether that means crawling through the file line by line or producing data visualizations to help you intuitively form conclusions based on a high-level view.
· Streamlining sending and sharing. File sending apps can make it much easier to send, receive, and even collaborate on big data files with other people.
Research your options and only invest in tools capable of serving your needs while streamlining efficiency.
Allocate More Memory
If your PC isn’t well-optimized, you may encounter freezing or stuttering when working with big data files. Oftentimes, this is due to insufficient memory. Depending on your machine and your current settings, you may be able to allocate more memory to this specific task. Otherwise, your best course of action may be to upgrade the RAM of your current machine, or buy a rig with beefier specs.
Split Files Into Chunks
If you’re struggling to manage an impossibly big file, one option available to you is to split the file down into smaller components. This isn’t an option for every application or every file, but it could be a convenient way to trim down your requirements without totally losing sections of data.
Change the Format of Your File
Sometimes, simply changing the format of your data storage is enough to reduce the size of the file and/or use less memory. For example, if you’re using a CSV file, you’ll be storing your data in the raw. There are advantages here, but you can speed things up and make things easier on yourself by converting it to a binary format like HDF. Other formats can store your data in an even more memory-friendly form, such as those with 2-byte integers or 4-byte floats.
Try Progressive Loading
In some cases, you may need all your big data to be available in your memory at the same time. If that’s the case, there’s not much you can do to reduce the need. However, you may be able to load the data progressively on an as-needed basis.
With the help of intelligent algorithms, you can create systems that allow you to load only as much data as you’re going to use for a given task; that way, you can save on memory, work more efficiently, and still get access to all the data you need, when you need it.
Try Using a Relational Database
It’s increasingly common for people working with big data to use relational databases. These databases exist as a standard way to both store and access data in very large sets. When utilizing them, you can progressively load your data from a disk in the form of batches managed by SQL. To make the most out of this strategy, you’ll need to design and make use of iterative learning algorithms, but the initial effort may be worth it.
Make Automatic Backups With Version Control
Sometimes, it’s difficult to work with a big data file because many people have access to the file simultaneously, or because the file is constantly evolving. If that’s the case, it’s going to be important to make automatic, multiple backups of your big data sets so you don’t lose anything – and version control mechanics to ensure you can see who’s changing what, and when.
Get Additional Help
If you’re still having trouble managing your big data files, or if you suspect you’re doing something inefficiently, your best option may be talking to another professional. Hiring a data analyst or a big data specialist may be exactly what you need to uncover the root causes of your problems or help you devise new big data management strategies.
In time, your attention to big data will help you make better business decisions. In the meantime, managing the big data itself takes priority. Do what you can to reduce your file size, streamline your navigation of the data, and interpret the data faster.