What Is Big Data?
For organizations of all sizes, data management has shifted from an important competency to a critical differentiator that can determine market winners and has-beens. Fortune 1000 companies and government bodies are starting to benefit from the innovations of the web pioneers. These organizations are defining new initiatives and reevaluating existing strategies to examine how they can transform their businesses using Big Data. In the process, they are learning that Big Data is not a single technology, technique or initiative. Rather, it is a trend across many areas of business and technology.
Big Data refers to technologies and initiatives that involve data that is too diverse, fast-changing or massive for conventional technologies, skills and infra- structure to address efficiently. Said differently, the volume, velocity or variety of data is too great.
But today, new technologies make it possible to realize value from Big Data. For example, retailers can track user web clicks to identify behavioral trends that improve campaigns, pricing and stockage. Utilities can capture household energy usage levels to predict outages and to incent more efficient energy consumption. Governments and even Google can detect and track the emergence of disease outbreaks via social media signals. Oil and gas companies can take the output of sensors in their drilling equipment to make more efficient and safer drilling decisions.
‘Big Data’ describes data sets so large and complex they are impractical to manage with traditional software tools.