The Big Deal on Big Data
What is Big Data and what does it mean to you?
This was one of the hardest terms for me to get my head around, since the word “big” is subjective and needs to be associated with something specific that is clearly defined with comparative elements. Also, the industries that refer to big data are so widespread, I spent days diving into just one trying to relate it back to what initially seemed to be a generic blanket statement. There was just too much data for me to filter the noise and get a focused result. With that, I found my answer.
When I went out to the world of big data to research what exactly the term meant, I found similar results to what I’ve found with other branded processes. That is, defining big data depends on what information you ingest and analyze.
According to recently published Economist Intelligence Unit Survey, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt estimates that the world creates five exabytes of data every two days — roughly the same amount created between the dawn of civilization and 2003.
Wow, since the dawn of civilization? How does Mr. Schmidt know that, I ask?
IBM recently said, “Every day, 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.”
I think IBM just wanted to use the word quintillion so they converted their findings to bytes.
Both findings clearly state that the amount of data we create —and more importantly, are now capturing, storing and analyzing— is growing faster that many of us realize. So what does the term “big data” mean? In my professional opinion, big data is simply a marketing term for rapid data growth.
How big data impacts you depends on your industry, but a common element across all industries is data-driven thinking. This is nothing new and the most successful industry leaders have been thinking this way for some time now. It has and will always be about enabling decision-making. But the rapidly changing and growing data has created new markets that challenge us all.
A new breed of college students are graduating with the aim of becoming data scientists, a job title that few had heard of just a decade ago. According to The Economist, “A decade ago, few companies would have considered appointing a chief data officer. Now the position is commonplace in the U.S.”
There is nothing new to the human element of intellectual growth, but it’s the technology advancements that are allowing us to include an ever-growing dataset into the equation.
No matter what side of the fence you stand on issues like privacy and unifying data access, the fact is big data is here to stay and will be a major game changer. Big data is truly driving IT transformation. Get on board and start researching these markets. We at Corporate Technologies certainly are and look forward to meeting the challenges.