Big Data // Big Data Analytics
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Jeff Bertolucci
Jeff Bertolucci
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10 Powerful Facts About Big Data

Big data means many things to many people, but how broad is its impact? Consider these figures on big data and the gurus who splice it.
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More than a buzzword
Big data, however you define it, has been praised and vilified. It's many things to many people: a boon to scientists and retailers, but also an enabling technology for a host of privacy and security threats.

Whether savior or scam -- or maybe even a mixture of the two -- big data remains a popular topic among pundits, prognosticators, marketers, and security buffs. Its unofficial definition is evolving as well. So what is it? Wikipedia's description is a good start: "any 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."

But the challenges of managing massive volumes of varied data sets arriving at high velocities -- the classic 3V's definition -- are changing as the number of data-sharing devices grows exponentially. This hardware, collectively known as the Internet of Things (IoT), includes machine sensors and consumer-oriented devices such as connected thermostats, light bulbs, refrigerators, and wearable health monitors. IDC predicts the IoT market will soar in the coming years -- from 9.1 billion installed units at the end of 2013 to 28.1 billion by 2020.

Organizations see a potential boon in actionable insights derived from big data, not only to sell more widgets and services, but also to better manage healthcare, stop the flow of counterfeit drugs, track terrorists, and maybe even track your phone calls. Hence it's a given that big data isn't inherently good or evil. It's how you use it that counts.

The irony of big data is that despite its potential to enhance the human experience, it's often difficult to collect, filter, analyze, and interpret to gain those cherished insights. This slideshow examines the challenges and capabilities of big data. The facts and figures may surprise you. What to expect? Well, the future appears bright for Hadoop, the leading big data platform. And data scientists and related big data gurus should be gainfully (and lucratively) employed for years to come.

Industry insiders have predicted the buzz term "big data" will fade away. "It is all just data, after all. Big data and all the predictions for this space will collapse into 'data management' by the analysts and all those following, including a lot of the 'big' vendors," wrote Hortonworks president Herb Cunitz in a December 2012 blog.

Cunitz may have prematurely predicted the demise of "big data," but he's spot on: It's all just data. Only the tools needed to manage it will change. Now dig into our slideshow and get a look at some revealing statistics and research.

Jeff Bertolucci is a technology journalist in Los Angeles who writes mostly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, The Saturday Evening Post, and InformationWeek. View Full Bio

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David F. Carr
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2014 | 7:17:27 PM
When does big data = big confusion?
Isn't big data less useful if it's too big, too random? The analytics technologies are powerful, but wouldn't they be even more powerful in combination with a strategy for selecting and organizing the data we collect? Instead of letting the tech make the data collection process sloppy.
User Rank: Strategist
6/10/2014 | 2:54:39 PM
Big Data Solution
Jeff, very nice article on Big Data. When considering a big data strategy, I think it's worth mentioning HPCC Systems from LexisNexis. Designed by data scientists, HPCC Systems is an open source data-intensive supercomputing platform to process and solve Big Data analytical problems and can help companies derive actionable insights from their data.

HPCC Systems provides proven solutions to handle what are now called Big Data problems, and have been doing so for more than a decade. The main advantages over other alternatives are the real-time delivery of data queries and the extremely powerful ECL language programming model. More info at
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2014 | 11:57:36 AM
Big data and IoT - A connection made in heaven
Big Data will become more big because of the Internet of things. More powerful anlaytical tools are required. It's not the demise of data warehouse, they can go about churning the internal numbers that they always do. However the data which is hidden in big data will be the one that will make a difference. The internet of things is simple if you look at them individually. But the avalanche of data should be collected and taken action upon. Stream computing will become the need of the day. But this is only possible on powerful hardware. Otherwise, there can be delays in the response times. Each Big Data application would be different and anlaytical tools would spring up for every vertical. Data Centers are going to become more and more important as they have to contain this data flow.  
Shane M. O'Neill
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/10/2014 | 11:41:58 AM
Re: IoT data
Bit if a mystery to me why IT pros are investing in the software and application side of the Internet of things, but blowing off purchasing the hardware: sensors, video equipment, projectors, and other peripherals. 
User Rank: Author
6/10/2014 | 10:47:40 AM
IoT data
More than half of IT pros not preparing for onslaught of data from IoT sensors. Does this surprise you, or not? Companies in the energy sector are preparing now. This % must vary wildly by industry, of course.
Solink Contextual Analytics
Solink Contextual Analytics,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/10/2014 | 9:28:00 AM
Video is the biggest "big data"
Every day, the world records over 413 Petabytes of video data (that's the equivalent of 92 million CD-ROMS!) If you're still not a believer that video is the biggest "big data" check out our blog post where we compare it to data generated from Youtube, Walmart, and Google
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