The Basics of Big Data for Web Developers

The Basics of Big Data for Web Developers

Posted: 3/18/2022

Pursuing a career in web development can be exciting and incredibly lucrative. In fact, The modern world is more reliant on technology than ever before, to the point that tech defines much of our day-to-day lifestyle. It should come as no surprise then that we created nearly 65 zettabytes of data in 2020 alone — with each zettabyte equivalent to a trillion gigabytes.

This information can provide so much critical insight on how we think, feel, and act. This is ultimately why leveraging Big Data is now vital in everything from business analytics to marketing. And now, even web developers can use Big Data to make more strategic adjustments in their line of work. Here’s how.

It enhances the user experience

With customizable websites, a given set of options allows users to control everything from layout to system functionality. However, the options don’t facilitate a seamless experience that caters to users’ specific preferences.

In the book Everybody Lies, former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz writes that the nearly 8 trillion gigabytes of data we produce each day uncovers both the conscious and unconscious decisions people make on the internet. This information can be tracked with AI models for the purposes of modifying sites to each user’s liking. Retail giant Amazon exemplifies how this practice can go: It analyzes previous search behavior such that users receive personalized product recommendations instead of having to continually browse the vast database.

It automates your updates

Big Data can streamline your workflow by facilitating the automation of manual tasks. Gone are the days of wondering what users want to see in your next website update. Software developer Al Sweigart writes in Automate The Boring Stuff With Python that you can instead set up data streams that automatically collect data points for you. These points can include information from your website itself or feedback indirectly given by users on the internet. They can then be automatically compiled in an upgrade module for immediate release.

Software like WordPress allows site administrators to automatically implement updates including security and bug fixes, as well as new feature rollouts.

It improves traffic analysis

Big Data also enables you to get comprehensive information on a vast array of variables, which comes in handy when you’re looking to drive more traffic to a website. By using third-party traffic analysis tools like Google Analytics (or creating your own such tools), you can track valuable website metrics more efficiently.

According to Entrepreneur, these metrics can include page views, average visitor duration, total unique visitors, and bounce rate. Big Data can even provide enough information for heat map analysis, which helps to determine which parts of your site are visited the most and least frequently. You can then add, remove, or enhance features that better cater to visitors’ interests.

It reduces costs

In a recent article titled Cost to Develop a Website in 2022: The Complete Guide, B2B development company Imaginovation estimated that web development costs can run anywhere between $1,000 and $95,000. Since Big Data helps streamline a variety of web development processes however, it can lower these costs significantly both in and outside web development.

Big Data informs fast and accurate decision-making and even predicts trends that may affect you in the long term –– so you won’t make expensive mistakes, and you’ll use resources more wisely. For example, data collected from Uber’s flagship ride-sharing service was used to improve the efficiency of its UberEats delivery app.

Disrupting web development?

Many have theorized that since Big Data allows for more automation in web development, it’s also making the profession obsolete. In fact, the opposite is true: It is instead spurring demand for experts proficient in both basic web development and data analytics.

If you’ve been experiencing Imposter Syndrome as a web developer, we’ve previously mentioned that one way you can combat it is to challenge yourself to improve. Updating your skillset with knowledge on how to leverage Big Data will unlock the benefits mentioned above, give you better career prospects, and allow you to make the best websites possible.