Big Data – Definition
There is no universal definition of what constitutes “Big Data” and Wikipedia offers only a very weak and incomplete one: “Big data is a term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time”.
IBM offers a good, simple overview:
Big data spans three dimensions: Volume, Velocity and Variety.
Volume – Big data comes in one size: large. Enterprises are awash with data, easily amassing terabytes and even petabytes of information.
Velocity – Often time-sensitive, big data must be used as it is streaming in to the enterprise in order to maximize its value to the business.
Variety – Big data extends beyond structured data, including unstructured data of all varieties: text, audio, video, click streams, log files and more.
Bryan Smith of MSDN adds a fourth V:
Variability – Defined as the differing ways in which the data may be interpreted. Differing questions require differing interpretations.
Google Trends on Big Data:
Below is a figure from Google Trends showing the growth of search interest for “big data” as compared to “web analytics” and “business intelligence”:
Big Data Terms / Tags:
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Marc Smith from Social Media Research Foundation Speaks on Big Data