Digital transformation part 1: Big Data

Achour Med Bachir
WTM Algiers - We Write
4 min readMay 23, 2021



Once upon a time, oil companies ruled the globe, an immense, untapped valuable asset of 18th century oil, it was the world’s most valuable resource, the key functionality of everything from the

government to local companies, without it, progress would halt and economies would shrink.

Fast forward to the 21 century, a new particular wonder that amazed the world came to life, everything is equally great where performance is reaching perfection, now you are a central point in the raging tornado of change fuelled by digitization, mobilization, augmentation, automation, where the science fiction is becoming science fact.

Think about self-driving cars and machines that can learn, thinking that the way we work will never be the same, the skills we need are dramatically different, winning or losing are now happening faster than ever before.

You should ask yourself: Are you driving change or are you being driven by it? This is the power of the most useful resource of the 21st century, ‘DATA’.

Machines and robots are products of data, confirming the universal truth booming in today’s digital world that all roads lead to data.

What Is Big Data?

To get the definition of big data we should define what is data first.

Etymologically, the word data is derived from the Latin dare, meaning ‘to give’.

In this sense, Data is commonly understood to be the raw material produced by abstracting the world into categories, measures and other representational forms that constitute the building blocks from which information and knowledge are created. Since we now have an idea about data, we can define Big Data as a high volume, high velocity, and high variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization, in other words, it’s a collection of large and complex data sets which can be processed only with difficulty by using on-hand database management tools.

Now, I’m sure you are asking yourself many questions, is it dangerous? , What is it used for? , What’s the impact of big data on mankind?

Before we get to the risks of big data, it makes sense to understand why so many organizations are trying to use it. Big data has already revolutionized many aspects of our lives.

Let’s explore some of its benefits.

  • Big data offers the potential for vastly enhanced data analytics. When used properly, organizations can employ big data to spot entirely new trends, to segment customers to an astonishing degree of accuracy, and to allow unprecedented levels of innovation in technology and product design.
  • With big data, you will get actionable data that you can use to engage with your customers one-on-one in real-time. You will be able to check a complaining customer’s profile in real-time and get info on the product/s they are complaining about, you will then be able to perform reputation management.
  • Big data is helpful in keeping data safe. Big data tools help you map the data landscape of your company, which helps in the analysis of internal threats.

On the other hand, big data has a dark side as any kind of technology.

Broadly speaking, this side is divided into many categories but in this part, we will only mention some points about that.

Data storage and retention is one of the most obvious risks associated with big data. When data gets accumulated at such a rapid pace and in such huge volumes, the first concern is its storage. Traditional data storage methods and technology are just not enough to store big data and retain it well. Companies today need a shift to cloud based data storage solutions to store, archive and access big data effectively.

Generally, when we talk about big data, many questions remain largely unanswered while this technology pushes ever forward.

We need to ask ourselves this question : Is it OK to track information about myself or my family? My health? My buying habits? my social interactions? And if it is permissible to track that information, under what circumstances? And who gets to access it? Who owns it?

I’m going to give you a brief answer, honestly everything can be traced and analysed -When I say everything I really mean everything- and can be used for nefarious purposes that’s gonna lead us to “Ethical issues”, in other words, Privacy problems, discrimination problems and spying.

At the end, I would thank you for reading this article and I really want to ask you this:

  1. How do we combat this growing trend?

2. Rather than controlling each other, how can we use big data to liberate each other?

3. How can we use technology to empower rather than oppress?