Big data is a popular term used to describe the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured. And big data may be as important to business – and society – as the Internet has become. Why? More data may lead to more accurate analyses.
More accurate analyses may lead to more confident decision making. And better decisions can mean greater operational efficiencies, cost reductions and reduced risk.
Growth of and Digitization of Global Information Storage Capacity [source: http://www.martinhilbert.net/WorldInfoCapacity.html%5D%5B/caption%5DWith the suggestions taken from IBM, Doug Laney (Industry Analyst), and SAS, Big data can be described with the five major pillars:
Volume: Transaction-based data stored through the years.
Velocity: Data is streaming in at unprecedented speed and must be dealt with in a timely manner.
Variety: Structured, numeric data in traditional databases. Information created from line-of-business applications. Unstructured text documents, email, video, audio, stock ticker data and financial transactions.
Variability. In addition to the increasing velocities and varieties of data, data flows can be highly inconsistent with periodic peaks.
Complexity. Today’s data comes from multiple sources. However, it is necessary to connect and correlate relationships, hierarchies and multiple data linkages or your data can quickly spiral out of control.
An example of big data might be petabytes (1,024 terabytes) or exabytes (1,024 petabytes) of data consisting of billions to trillions of records of millions of people—all from different sources (e.g. Web, sales, customer contact center, social media, mobile data and so on). The data is typically loosely structured data that is often incomplete and inaccessible.