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What Puts the Big in Big Data

Updated: Jul 4, 2018



Big data is some of the most tiniest data ever available, generated instantaneously by every device and piece of software connected to the internet. Every enterprise needs to fully understand big data and define what it is to them, what is does for them, and what it means to them.  Now that’s out of the way, what exactly makes big data so big?


Little things start to pile up


Any time you do anything online, you leave a digital footprint.  Every single time you log into your social media accounts, check the scores of your favorite teams, look at your 401k or even look at the latest weather, you are leaving a trace of your online activity.  Analysis of these traces provide insights that companies pay big (there’s that word again) money for.


Our enormous and ever-growing IoT adds to the piling up.  


Your refrigerator is now likely paying attention, as are your other appliances.  Your car is memorizing useful habits, your Google Home is remembering your search habits and your streaming services are bookmarking your favorites.  


Your social media accounts remember birthdays, anniversaries, special memories of the past and how long you have know your “friends”.  Health apps know when you are sick, when you have doctors appointments and can probably tell you if your insurance covers the procedure you are having tomorrow.  Your fitness app knows your favorite routes tells you the calories you need to burn today to burn off the drink you had last night.


Cars are a huge contributor


Driverless cars update their algorithms based on user behavioral data. These vehicles require an (almost) unfathomable quantity of data fetching and processing. This data often details the route, traffic congestion, and how to navigate around any hazards. All of this data is shared between IoT connected cars and is uploaded wirelessly to a cloud system to be analyzed and put to use improving the automation.


For some perspective, an average car you can buy today, with just cameras and radar, generates something like 6 gigabytes of data every 30 seconds. It's even more for a self-driver, with additional sensors like lidar.


Big data is a big deal


The Economist said The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data with companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon being specialists in the field.  Big data is a big deal. From reducing their costs and making better decisions, to creating products and services that are in demand by the masses, businesses will increasingly benefit by using big-data analytics.


Raw data and various value-added content will be bought and sold either via marketplaces or in bilateral transactions and enterprises will begin to develop methods for valuing their data Monetization will become a major source of revenues, as the world will create 180 zettabytes of data (or 180 trillion gigabytes) in 2025, up from less than 10 zettabytes in 2015, according to IDC.

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