Understanding Big Data

In addition to my own posts, I also write for CloudTweaks, an authority on cloud computing. My most recent post focuses on understanding Big Data. Here is an excerpt:

What do Wal-Mart, Facebook and the Hadron Collider have in common? They are just three of many large organizations who are major consumers and processors of Big Data, a term that is becoming a greater priority for companies around the world as they struggle with a ceaseless and ever growing ocean of information.

The short definition of Big Data is that it represents all of the data in your organization – not just one type. Data resides in all business functions: marketing, finance, operations, research & development, customer experience – everywhere – and it essentially comes in three flavors: structured, unstructured and binary.

Structured data is the type of information that is organized and indexable, and consequently is most often stored in databases or annotated documents. This could include records and files. Unstructured data refers to loose material such as emails and tweets, and according to some estimates, may comprise 80% or even 90% of a company’s potentially useable information. Binary data refers to photographs and other media that is generally stored using binary formats.

In a recent podcast delivered by Mike Gualtieri, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, Inc., and Milan Vaclavik, Senior Director & Solution Lead for CenturyLink Technology Solutions, it was noted that 70% of IT decision-makers see big data analytics as a priority within one year. This makes sense. For a company to fully understand where it is going, what its customers need, and how it compares to the marketplace, it must be able to access and use all of its data quickly and comprehensively. Currently, for most companies, this data is segmented into silos, with different storage mechanisms running on different platforms overseen by different people. So in a sense, Big Data at this moment in time, does not so much represent bits of information. The term better represents a concept, a problem, and a solution.

To read the full post, please visit CloudTweaks here.

CloudTweaks

 

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