To the surprise of absolutely no one, apps are a big deal these days. The phrase “there’s an app for that” has already become a cliché, but, like most clichés, it exists because it’s true. Another big deal item is the ever-popular Big Data, with its flood of information from every area of our lives being used to make decisions, draft policies, and create strategies.

So what happens when these two big concepts intersect? Just how does Big Data affect the development of apps?

Enter The Cloud!

If there’s anything today that’s as big as the proliferation of apps and the concept of Big Data, it’s the cloud, so it’s only logical that the latter influences app development. The cloud is useful for handling the massive amount of information produced by Big Data, and it’s getting to the point where one is rarely seen without the other.

More apps are being developed and tested in the cloud, attracted by its low cost, reduced operational complexity, and its flexibility and easy scalability. Naturally, it comes with its own unique pitfalls as well, including networking issues, deployment restrictions, and hidden usage fees.

A Match Made In Virtual Heaven

The powerful storage resources of the cloud are ideal for handling the massive information avalanche that is Big Data. It stands to reason that cloud-based apps are the best tools for handling Big Data, and that includes apps like DropBox, NetSuite, SalesForce, and Mozy. These apps, and more like them, can be used via a web browser, or through a customized installation on a mobile phone or desktop.

Cloud-based apps can also be cached to a local device and used offline, granting a greater degree of flexibility.

Taking Big Data Into Consideration When Designing Apps

According to the article “How is Big Data Changing Cloud-Based Apps? 4 Things App Developers Need to Know”, app developers for the cloud have to keep in mind the 4 V’s of Big Data: Volume, Variety, Velocity, and Veracity. Apps have to be able to handle Big Data’s high volume of information, manage the variety Big Data offers, process the information swiftly, and be able to keep functioning even if some inaccurate data slips in.

The volume of Big Data is a particularly significant factor. The sheer amount of information that Big Data offers is enough to overwhelm any business or group if they aren’t ready for it. One could even argue that if the volume can be managed, the other factors become more manageable.

The above-mentioned article even briefly touches upon the Internet of Things, wherein everyday appliances, vehicles, electronics, and even household pets, have sensors, an Internet connection, and the ability to send that information without the need for human intervention. The IoT is growing and is only going to get bigger. If any developer thinks the information flow is huge now, just wait a few more years.

One thing’s for sure; the success of an app hinges on the relative ease of use in today’s environment, and today it’s all about Big Data. For more insights into it, check out “How To Tell A Compelling Story Using Big Data.”