We have all heard of the term big data but for many of us this does not have a great deal of relevance and it attracts even less attention when we think about its practical implementation.
The reality though is that almost all businesses have big data sitting there waiting to be made use of, up until now we just haven’t had the right platform to make that data useful, searchable and sharable.
These are the key components that turn your flat data into useful information that can be globally searched from a central location to give you greater insight – that is really what big data is all about.
How can you make this happen?
Big Parser is an online service that has been designed to do just that – it works with any kind of dataset including those that are unstructured and semi-structured and will parse those datasets and make then fully searchable.
The real benefit of big parser is that you can upload all of your datasets – typically these would be spreadsheets, XML files and CSV files – and have the ability to instantly search across all of those datasets on a granular (column by column) basis.
Case study of Big Parser
To put this into practical terms we have put together a case study of the Big Parser service to show you how easy it is to upload and catalogue a group of spreadsheets making them instantly searchable.
Signing up for an account
Signing up for an account at bigparser.com is the first step – this process involves filling out a few details including your name, email address and a designated password for your account.
If you are worried about the security of your data there is also an option to enable two-factor authentication – this involves submitted your mobile phone number which you will then need to use when logging in to your Big Parser account – this makes it impossible for an attacker to log in and access your data even if they were able to obtain your account password.
After registration you will receive an email confirming your account creation – simply click on the verify button in this email in order to fully activate your account.
Logging in to your Big Parser account
Once you have registered and activated your account you can log in to upload your data. When you log in for the first time you will see a screen similar to the one below and you will be prompted to upload a new file. This can be done by either clicking on the upload button or by simply dragging files in to the window.
Uploading your files
After you drag your files into the window they will be automatically uploaded to Big Parser and you will see them listed one by one as below. Once each file has been uploaded they must be parsed – this is the process whereby the files are catalogued and all of the information in them is converted into a format that allows them to be rapidly searched and filtered.
Parsing your data
Parsing your data is a onetime process and can be done easily by clicking on the settings icon at the top right of each one of your files.
As you click on the settings icon for each file you will be asked to confirm the file type – this will normally be identified automatically by Big Parser – as well as confirming whether you want multi-tab spreadsheets to be kept as one document or for each tab to be split into its own dataset.
We found that splitting the files up was more convenient as it allows them to be individually searched with less effort.
Searching through your data
Once all of your files have been parsed they will be in an easily searchable format. You can search globally through all of your files or you can select a particular file and then filter the data depending on what you are searching for.
We uploaded a spreadsheet containing a large list of products and using the filters we could easily search through this data be picking out information from certain columns.
When compared to the search functions offered by the native Excel application Big Parser is extremely flexible, intuitive and most importantly it is fast.
The service essentially turns all of your static data into a dynamic and searchable database.
The future of big parser
This is only the beginning for this service with new features including the ability to edit your files online coming soon to Big Parser as well as plans to integrate the service with other online data storage applications including Dropbox and Amazon AWS.