Is it a leap forward helping the world to run smoothly on exabytes of unstructured, unprecedented levels of data? Or is Big Data a new buzz-word used by sales and marketing teams to persuade companies to buy multimillion pound IT platforms? If you ask me, history is repeating itself. I remember the birth of CRM and how the industry was split between IT companies and their solve-it-all £multimillion databases, and the pointy heads claiming it was their domain. CRM turned out to be data driven marketing using IT as a tool, and eventually became the industry buzz-word of the '90s.
Ever had a data problem? Ever thought it was an insurmountable big wave?
Big data represents a significant paradigm shift in enterprise technology and stands to transform much of what the modern enterprise is today. Digital data is everywhere and global data is growing at 40% per year. Companies across the world are capturing vast amounts of information about their customers, suppliers and operations. Yet the question remains - to what extent has the focus of the conversation moved from the IT department to the boardroom?
Hundreds of terabytes. That’s the amount of Big Data being generated by multi-national corporations, every day. While terrifying for some, others see it as an opportunity to fundamentally transform how their organisations operate and make decisions. According to Gartner, Big Data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending in 2013. But what most people think of when they hear the term ‘Big Data’ almost certainly isn’t what I'm talking about. What many organisations still regard as Big Data – unstructured information contained in emails, electronic documents, social media interactions etc – is just a thin layer in the vast strata of data available to them.
Big data is ramping up to be a big business opportunity. Hype surrounding Big Data is at an all-time-high as businesses look to address the increasing volume, variety and velocity of information. Yet, many businesses do not have the technology in place to address the real 'Big' in Big Data - unstructured information. Nick Patience, Director of Product Marketing & Strategy discusses how businesses can extract value from the unstructured information that is spread across multiple data repositories within the organisation.
Some people seem conflicted about big data at the moment. On the one hand, excitement about the benefits of big data is at an all-time high. On the other hand though, people are concerned that many big data projects don't yield a positive ROI. It would be a mistake to think that simply add a new data source to your mix would immediately reveal the secrets to the world’s longest lived mysteries. Success depends on a well thought out program of exploration and discovery
When we hear the phrase ‘big data’ most of us think about the information and insight that can be gleaned from analysing the vast amounts of untapped data pools lying within our businesses. The industry is saturated with opinion about big data analysis in order to draw usable insights and ultimately aid customer retention or enhance business processes. However, although incredibly important, these thoughts overshadow the conversation around management of, and access to, big data. Although storage of information has come under scrutiny, the link to large volumes of data and secure, efficient access remains relatively tentative in many conversations.
Big Data and Quantified Self are beginning to play a global role in measuring happiness and well-being. The science of happiness, based on subjective well-being and positive psychology, has been getting a boost in the past few years from emerging technology that can measure the data about behavior and emotion. The H(app)athon Project (www.happathon.com) is a free initiative looking to leverage sensor and other data to improve well-being.