Big Data

How Big is Big Data ?

Big DataWhile it is a common term, ‘big data’ is difficult to define with precision, and is often better recognised based on properties. Key elements include a tremendous amount (volume) of information, which often is growing through ongoing streaming or collection (velocity). Data is often collected from diverse and unrelated (variety) sources. Much of this data is unstructured, meaning there is a lack of immediate clarity of content or purpose, and is often not created for the purpose at hand.The amount of digital information that is being generated, stored, processed and analysed each year is increasing at an exponential rate. Many companies have looked to big data as a means of benefitting their corporate intelligence, aiding in resource allocation, and advancing productivity. Businesses have long understood that there is value to be extracted from the burgeoning volume of data. The potential benefits are numerous but include areas like generating new business insights; improving core operating processes; enabling faster, better decision making; taking advantage of changing value chains; and creating new data centric businesses.What has changed to lead to the big data revolution? Data processing and storage costs have decreased by a factor of more than 1,000 over the past decade. Powerful analytical techniques have emerged and new technologies (Hadoop, MapReduce) mean that data no longer has to be stored in rigidly structured form to be processed. Now information can reside in whatever form it naturally takes – from Facebook posts to audio recordings of customer service calls – in geographically dispersed centres or in the cloud.The rapid growth of the digital universe is driven by multiple factors:1. the explosion of internet applications tracking every single click and page view for each user;
2. the proliferation of digital video recorders, digital cameras, mobile phones, sensors and RFIDs, all generating huge amount of real-time data constantly;
3. the analog to digital conversion in all types of electronics and communication devices; and
4. businesses in various vertical industries such as financial services, media, telecommunications,   transportation that are increasingly capturing, processing and analysing all sorts of business data about customers, products, transactions, inventory management, logistics.




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