‘Big Data’ – A more simplistic view

22 Oct

[Originally posted 19th October]

Data lies at the heart of many business issues such as accuracy, duplication, structure, storage and accessibility. As timh88 and cliftonmoore have touched on, advances in technology and changes in our business environments are key factors in the emergence of this ‘big data’ trend. To add to the definition of ‘big data’ given already in this category, it is not only types of massive web traffic data that is generated by say Google or Facebook, for example. Big data is any type of data that is or beginning to become unmanageable through traditional storage solutions for ANY organisation. This is in relation to its volume, velocity, variety, and also complexity. (http://www.microscope.co.uk/feature/Big-data-Big-problem-big-opportunity-or-big-hype)

This is something I first didn’t realise. In my original understanding I thought big data was really only relevant to ‘big’ organisations.

I believe the diagram below excellently illustrates what big data truly means, encompassing its transactions, interactions and observations. I think this diagram also illustrates timh88’s particularly good point about internet-enabled devices, and how the number of users of these is being expected to double in the coming years, thus clearly creating a challenge for organisations to be in a position to manage and better use this expected growth in data activity.

Big Data Diagram

(Source: http://hortonworks.com/blog/7-key-drivers-for-the-big-data-market/)

Finally, just to give an example of the amount of data that is generated each day:

–          Google generates 25 petabytes, i.e. about 1,000 terabytes, every day.

–          Facebook generates 130 terabytes in data every day in user logs alone. A further 200-400 terabytes are generated by users posting pictures.

–          In 2011, the total amount of data created worldwide was around one zetabyte, i.e. about 1,000,000 petabytes. This figure is expected to grow by 50-60% each year into the future!! (http://www.in4ins.com/solutions/big-data.html)

With all of this data, it really is easy to see why there is so much fuss being created about ‘big data’ and its management at this current time. It will be really interesting to see how information systems respond to this challenge.


3 Responses to “‘Big Data’ – A more simplistic view”

  1. cmcoughlan October 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

    Good blog steepletoes! To be honest I thought ‘bit data’ was only relevant for big companies also, didn’t understand the term well. That diagram is really good, very comprehensive!

    • steepletoes October 24, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

      Thanks cmcoughlan! I’m glad it helped ur perception of the term. I felt that others would have had the same view seen as it was how I initially understood the term. After sifting throw mountains of text about ‘big data’ I thought this diagram would make understanding how this data is generated far easier to comprehend. Thanks again for your comment.


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