Big data is a term for data sets that are so large or complex that traditional data processing application softwares are inadequate to deal with them. Challenges include capture, storage, analysis, data curation, search, sharing, transfer, visualization, querying, updating and information privacy. The term “big data” often refers simply to the use of predictive analytics, user behavior analytics, or certain other advanced data analytics methods that extract value from data, and seldom to a particular size of data set. “There is little doubt that the quantities of data now available are indeed large, but that’s not the most relevant characteristic of this new data ecosystem.” Analysis of data sets can find new correlations to “spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime and so on.” Scientists, business executives, practitioners of medicine, advertising and governments alike regularly meet difficulties with large data-sets in areas including Internet search, finance, urban informatics, and business informatics. Scientists encounter limitations in e-Science work, including meteorology, genomics, connectomics, complex physics simulations, biology and environmental research.
Big data is being generated by everything around us at all times. Every digital process and social media exchange produces it. Systems, sensors and mobile devices transmit it. Big data is arriving from multiple sources at an alarming velocity, volume and variety. To extract meaningful value from big data, you need optimal processing power, analytics capabilities and skills. Big data is changing the way people within organizations work together. It is creating a culture in which business and IT leaders must join forces to realize value from all data. Insights from big data can enable all employees to make better decisions—deepening customer engagement, optimizing operations, preventing threats and fraud, and capitalizing on new sources of revenue. But escalating demand for insights requires a fundamentally new approach to architecture, tools and practices. New skills are needed to fully harness the power of big data. Though courses are being offered to prepare a new generation of big data experts, it will take some time to get them into the workforce. Meanwhile, leading organizations are developing new roles, focusing on key challenges and creating new business models to gain the most from big data.