Big Data is a widely discussed topic today and with good reason too! This technology has brought some amazing inventions and innovations to our world which has changed our lives for the better.

What is Big Data?
Data is a collection of random figures and characters which do not hold any meaning unless it is analyzed and converted into useful information.
Big Data, as the name suggests is larger and more complex set of data which is very hard to process and analyze and is growing continuously.

Types of Big Data
1. Structured Data
This type of data can be processed, sorted, analyzed, stored and retrieved in a fixed format. Structured data can be easily accessed by a computer with the help of search algorithms.

2.  Unstructured Data
Unlike structured data, unstructured data is not present in any particular format. This data is a combination of various different types of data like text files, images, videos, etc. It is usually heavier in size.

3. Semi Structured Data
Semi structured data contains both structured as well as unstructured information. That is, it may not be present in a particular format but may have segments which are formatted properly or vise-versa.

Characteristics of Big Data
The 3 main characteristics of Big Data are:
1. Variety
That is, it can be present in any form or variety: Structured, unstructured or semi-structured. Today, Big Data can be collected from tons of sources like PDFs, emails, photos, videos, audios, etc.

2. Velocity
Big Data is being created at a very high speed from millions of different sources, per second.

3. Volume
As mentioned earlier, Big Data refers to a very large quantity or volume of data which is collected from online sources, machines, businesses, etc.