We’ve heard the phrase “one in a million” but how about “one in a quintillion”? Now there’s a term that will make you feel microbial.
Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created. This data includes transaction records, news tickers, videos, digital photos, the human genome, just about anything and everything. Think innumerable. Think changing every second—12 terabytes of Tweets are created each day for analysis and product improvement. Think big. Fortunately, IT developers didn’t dub this idea with a complicated technical term. They simply call it “big data.”
The White House has referred to present-day technology as “the big data revolution,” and announced the Big Data Research and Development Initiative in March 2012. Massachusetts also got in on the action two months later:
“Our Massachusetts Big Data Initiative and private investment like Intel’s support of MIT’s CSAIL program will position Massachusetts as a leader in a growing, global industry and allow us to become the premier destination for big data," said Governor Deval Patrick.
Big data is a big deal as well as big business. In 2010, The Economist reported that the information management industry was estimated to be worth more than $100 billion and growing at almost 10 percent a year.
To manage big data we must first understand what it is and what to do with it. Big data is formed by five dimensions. Oddly, they all begin with the letter “V”; maybe because big data is so “vital” in our technologic world?
The five dimensions include:
Volume Text data used to be problematic due to storage issues; now companies are trying to find out what information taken from this data is relevant to achieving business success and growth.
Variety Video, audio, email, etc., etc., etc.; all this data is monitored, analyzed and compared to improve customer interest and satisfaction.
Velocity To make ends meet, organizations must find a way to deal with torrents of new data and process it concurrently and efficiently as more data amasses.
Variability Considering all of the above, you now have a gargantuan influx of information that may be inconsistent because of the time of year or fads; companies will have to sort through the data to figure out what is important.
Veracity Wading through this data, you’ll also have to determine what is truthful, which depends on sources, connections and governance.
Software firms continue to create new programs for big data regulation and productivity. A sea of quintillion may sound daunting but companies are simultaneously maintaining and developing means of control.
Check in next week for our blog post on data disaster recovery.
Photo by automationworld.com
Sources: ibm.com, sas.com, whitehouse.gov, mass.gov, economist.com