Big Data means different things to different people, but in the context of Exponential Technologies, it is the ability to gather, store, process and report on massive amounts of data. This might seem to be a gradual tide of getting a little bigger each year, but a few parallel innovations recently dramatically expanded what you could do in gathering, storing and converting data into information. Suffice to say, the hardware, software, etc. available today makes a whole new kind of analysis possible and cost effective.
Here is a basic take from Forbes:
|5 Telltale Signs You Don’t Understand Big Data |
In the past, people often tried to use data to answer questions they already knew. Now, with so much Big Data capability, often times the best answers come from questions no one could have known to ask, without, well, already knowing the answer.
Making Big Data real is often about taking portions of vast amounts of data and providing context through visualization.
When Data Sets are large enough the knowledge residing in all that data can outperform the best programmers. There are many powerful examples of this already such as Google’s translation slate of algorithms or IBM’s Watson.
We ourselves are becoming the objects of Big Data in a number of important ways. As with most things tech, the results of these advancements can be good or bad, depending on your perspective.
While it might be great to have products matched to your tastes, it is a bit creepy for a machine, and its operators and other entities, to know more about you that even you do. Even so, Big Data is much more than a privacy or product issue. The types of answers that are on the horizon will solve age-old dilemmas and even find quite a few we are not even aware of.