What is Big Data?

According to IBM – Everyday, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data–so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: from sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos posted online, transaction records of online purchases, and from cell phone GPS signals to name a few. This data is big data.

Big data spans three dimensions: Variety, Velocity and Volume.

  • Variety – Big data extends beyond structured data, including unstructured data of all varieties: text, audio, video, click streams, log files and more.
  • Velocity – Often time-sensitive, big data must be used as it is streaming in to the enterprise in order to maximize its value to the business.
  • Volume – Big data comes in one size: large. Enterprises are awash with data, easily amassing terabytes and even petabytes of information.

Big data is more than a challenge; it is an opportunity to find insight in new and emerging types of data, to make your business more agile, and to answer questions that, in the past, were beyond reach. Until now, there was no practical way to harvest this opportunity. (Source: IBM)

Wall Street & Big Data

Joshua M. Brown, a New York City-based financial advisor at Fusion Analytics hit on how Wall Street is now starting to utilize “Big Data”. Brown writes:

For the uninitiated, Big Data has been a theme in the technology industry since at least 2009 but mass awareness is only now coming to Wall Street and the investor class. Essentially we’re talking about the gathering, formatting, analyzing and utilization of a massive amount of digital information as a form of business intelligence.

We live in amazing times. Never before have companies had so much data to work with and learn from. Research firm IDC put the year 2008’s global digital output at 180 exabytes — 1 exabyte is a little over 1 billion gigabytes — expects that to jump 10 times this year and reach 35,000 exabytes by 2020 (source: Reuters). Every click on a website, every phone call, every tweet, every transaction – these are all bits of data, information to be harvested and examined. (Source: The Christian Monitor)

Some Good Articles on Big Data

The Next Frontier

According to Steve McDonnell at SmartDataCollective in his post “Big Data Is The Next Frontier For Innovation, Competition and Productivity” writes:

According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, the potential value that can be extracted from big data is enormous:

  • A retailer could use big data to increase operating margins by more than 60 percent
  • The U.S. healthcare industry could use big data to create more than $300 billion of value every year
  • Services enabled by personal location data could result in $600 billion of consumer surplus spending

Much of the opportunity to use big data is for organizations, both in the public and private sector, who find themselves in the middle of a convergence of data about every aspect of their business – information about their products and services, about their buyers and suppliers and about consumer preferences and intent. With the right policies and enablers in place, McKinsey believes that big data will be a primary source of competitive advantage and enhanced productivity for companies. (Source: SmartDataCollective)

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About The Author

Joshua Burkhow

Joshua is working to become a Data Scientist with focus on Analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, and Statistics. His passion for Data and Information are second to none. He is a certified IBM Cognos Expert with more than 10 years experience in Business Intelligence & Data Warehousing, Analtyics, IT Management, Software Engineering and Supply Chain Performance Management with Fortune 500 companies. He has specializations in Analytics, Mobile Reporting, Performance Management, and Business Analysis.

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