Big Data Is Not A Fad, It Is A Real Issue
When talking of big data there is a notion, from some, that it is just another buzz word or a hugely overhyped fad. Take a look at some of the recent technology reports such as GigaOm who recently reported “The IT hype machine has everyone jumping on the big data bandwagon”, or The Register, who headlined “Biz prof disses Big Data as a fetish for info hoarders”, but is big data a passing fad or a very real issue?
INTERNET DATA IS GROWING MASSIVELY
The amount of data being pushed through the internet on a daily basis is massively increasing. Website monitoring company Pingdom log a great deal of web traffic and publish annual figures on the state of the Internet via their Royal Pingdom Blog. According to their statistics in 2010, the number of email accounts worldwide exceed 2.9 billion whilst in 2011 the same figure exceed 3.146 billion and with the average number of emails sent and received by the average corporate user exceeding 100 we can see that email alone generates information of the big data magnitude. The number of websites in 2010 was around 255 million whereas in 2011 this figure had more than doubled to 555 million. If we look at Facebook data, there was 600 million people on Facebook at the end of 2010 but in 2011 this figure was over 800 million and similarly Twitter accounts grew from 175 million to 225 million with hundreds of millions of tweets being posted per day.
ENTERPRISE IS LOOKING AT DATA WITH FRESH EYES
In the enterprise the story is likely to be similar with business looking at its data with fresh eyes – particularly in organisations who are modernising systems from legacy platforms, or attempting to unify data silos, where there is very real need to analyse the grass roots data structures in place. With this analysis opportunities can be gained not only from historical data, or “data at rest” in big data terms, but also from streaming data, “data in motion”, such as information from sensors. Dashboard technology and key performance indicators have become a popular trend in enterprise and these are ideal mechanisms for presenting data analytics, both in rest and in motion, but they still require the analytical tools and business intelligence to make logical sense of the information in an optimum way. For many an enterprise big data and business intelligence may already be on the data strategy roadmap but it is only in the last year or two that appropriate terms have been coined.
BIG DATA IS A CALL TO ACTION
This umbrella term of “big data” is also interesting in the sense that is conveys a problem to be resolved as opposed to other technological buzz terms which describe attempts to wrap solutions around things, such as “Crowd sourcing”, “Business intelligence”, “Software as a Service”, and “Cloud computing”. In this sense “big data” is not the end of the story but the call to action to highlight a very real problem that is short on solutions.
The situation is clear, data is massively on the rise, and with big data come big opportunities; sentiment analysis being one of the key areas of study for social networking information and efficiency drives being of key interest in enterprise. Big data is not a passing fad but a very real issue and should be on the agenda of every enterprise CIO.