While big data means something different to everyone, there are daunting characteristics of the term that apply universally. Big data is growing exponentially every day, and until recently, no one has known what to do with it other than continue to spend vast amounts of money for its storage.
The general definition of big data is any “collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools." If companies aren’t effectively managing big data, and they’re only continuing to store it away, problems wil arise, along with missed potential financial opportunities.
With the addition of social media outlets, the connectivity of mobile devices, and multiple data backup locations, the weight of big data on any group collecting it will be felt sooner than is probably expected. For some, issues arise when it becomes too great a financial burden to continue to pay for storage, whether on your own devices or for cloud storage.
However, even those who could comfortably spend the money required to store their petabytes or even exabytes, no company can afford to let this data sit stagnant, while not effectively managing, organizing, and analyzing potentially invaluable data sets.
Big data’s actual intrinsic value is currently being debated as the term was only a buzzword a short time ago. With every company, organization, and even government's looking for ways to strike gold and find an untapped resource, speculation into big data analysis has quickly grown popular.
Many groups already have on hand an enormous collection of data to pour through. They just don’t know where or how to even begin to mine it for leads. Some are predicting that big-data-as-a-service (BDaaS) is right around the corner as the next must-have for organizations large and small.
Along with supporters of big data analytics, there are some who are already questioning the ethics behind the process. Who gets to determine how big data is used, and for what goal? After learning two amazing recent deductions that were made by analyzing big data, Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic questions if we'll have any say so on how this information is used in the future.
Big data couldn’t exist without us, and as its ultimate producers, we may not have much say about what our contributions will one day be used to create for someone else.
A resident copywriter and editor for TechWell, SQE, and StickyMinds.com, Noel Wurst has written for numerous blogs, websites, newspapers, and magazines. Noel has presented educational conference sessions for those looking to become better writers. In his spare time, he can be found spending time with his wife and two sons—and tending to the food on his Big Green Egg. Noel eagerly looks forward to technology's future, while refusing to let go of the relics of the past.