Big data can be structured, but with high volume, like historical payment transaction data. It can be semi-structured as in XML and other user-defined content. It can also be totally unstructured. Free form text used in social networks is an example.

Big data analytics tools can also be grouped like this:

  • Descriptive analytics to show what happened
  • Diagnostic analytics to explain why something happened
  • Predictive analytics to suggest what will likely happen next
  • Prescriptive analytics to tell users what to do, to obtain a given result