Big Data

Big data is a term applied to data sets whose size or type is beyond the ability of traditional relational databases to capture, manage, and process the data with low-latency. While the term “big data” is relatively new, the act of gathering and storing large amounts of information for eventual analysis is old. The concept gained momentum in the early 2000s when industry analyst Doug Laney articulated the now-mainstream definition of big data as the three Vs: Volume, Velocity and Variety. Volume. Organizations collect data from a variety of sources, including business transactions, social media and information from sensor or machine-to-machine data. In the past, storing it would’ve been a problem – but new technologies (such as Hadoop) have eased the burden. Velocity. Data streams in at an unprecedented speed and must be dealt with in a timely manner. RFID tags, sensors and smart metering are driving the need to deal with torrents of data in near-real time.Variety. Data comes in all types of formats – from structured, numeric data in traditional databases to unstructured text documents, email, video, audio, stock ticker data and financial transactions. Other concepts later attributed with big data are veracity (i.e., how much noise is in the data) and value Analyzing big data allows analysts, researchers, and business users to make better and faster decisions using data that was previously inaccessible or unusable. Using advanced analytics techniques such as text analytics, machine learning, predictive analytics, data mining, statistics, and natural language processing, businesses can analyze previously untapped data sources independent or together with their existing enterprise data to gain new insights resulting in better and faster decisions.

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