What is Big Data?

There is quite a lot of buzz around Big Data now-a-days. Lot of people don't understand what it means. Big data is an emerging field and it describe the availability of large volume of data and its associated tools to derive insights from this data.

We are living in a digital world already. This huge amount of data is a gold-mine for all sort of companies - allowing strategies that were previously very difficult or too costly to achieve.

Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.
- Eric Schmidt, Ex-CEO, Google

Big data and insights derived out of big data analysis is already a big part of our everyday life. Whether you are using 'Google Search' or browsing products on Amazon, you are seeing results that are created using big data technologies and systems.

What is Big data? Big data definition

Big data is about large volume of data and its associated technologies to derive insights out of this data. Formally, big data is characterized typically by 3 Vs which are 'velocity', 'variety', and 'volume'.

3Vs of Big data

  1. Volume -- Large volume of data
  2. Velocity -- Speed of data, that is large amount of new data being generated. For example, twitter see more than 500 million tweets per day.
  3. Variety - variety of data. That is, not just structured data stored typically in databases, but also images, videos, geo locations, unstructured text like web pages, logs, tweets, user messages etc.

Why Big Data? What's the value for Business

The real reason of popularity of term 'big data' lies in its ability to drastically alter our ability for business decision making and strategy. Already lot of companies are collecting billions and trillions of data points about their customers and competitors to better decide their next actions or build products for customers.

Apart from businesses, political parties in recent year have relied heavily on big data and big data derived insights to manage their political campaigns.

If you are new company or organization looking into adopting big data technologies, it is important to understand that real value of big data lies in a synergy of big data technical teams working together with business teams.