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Big Data - Another buzzword that finally took off

The IT industry is littered with acronyms and buzzwords, some stay and others dissappear of the face of the earth before you even get a chance to spell it. Will Big Data be another buzzword that will dissappear or is it here to stay? Undoubtedly it will be here for the next many decades, data is everything for an organisation. It will improve profits, decision making and shareholder wealth creation but only if it can analysed approriately and provide insights to its users and they act on it.  

What is Big Data? 

Definition from Wikipedia: "Big data is the term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis, and visualization."

Or as Timo Elliott comments on his blog:

"The Original Big Data Big Data as the three Vs: Volume, Velocity, and Variety. This is the most venerable and well-known definition, first coined by Doug Laney of Gartner over twelve years ago. Since then, many others have tried to take it to 11 with additional Vs including Validity, Veracity, Value, and Visibility.

Big Data as Technology: Why did a 12-year old term suddenly zoom into the spotlight? It wasn’t simply because we do indeed now have a lot more volume, velocity, and variety than a decade ago. Instead, it was fueled by new technology, and in particular the fast rise of open source technologies such as Hadoop and other NoSQL ways of storing and manipulating data. The users of these new tools needed a term that differentiated them from previous technologies, and–somehow–ended up settling on the woefully inadequate term Big Data. If you go to a big data conference, you can be assured that sessions featuring relational databases–no matter how many Vs they boast–will be in the minority"

It might be an overused buzzword, it might have taken 12 years before it got any traction in the corporate world, it is often misunderstood and used in the wrong context, but there is no doubt that over the next decade the companies that get their Big Data strategy implemented successfully with sufficient investment in capabilities will turn insight into foresight and optimise decision making.

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