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Too Big to Ignore

The Business Case for Big Data

By Phil Simon
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Too Big to Ignore by Phil Simon

Too Big to Ignore explains why Big Data is tremendously important for your business. It illustrates the ways that Big Data analysis can revolutionize your company, and takes you step by step through the tools you need to harness it. It also looks ahead to our Big Data future.

Key idea 1 of 8

Our changing consumption patterns and plummeting technology costs have led to the growth of “Big Data.”

Everyone’s talking about Big Data these days, and many companies hire data scientists. But what exactly is Big Data? And why is it spreading now?

“Big Data” refers to huge data sets that are too large or complex to be dealt with easily. They can’t be processed using basic applications like Microsoft Excel or Access.

The growth of Big Data has been driven by our changing consumption patterns. Smart phones, cloud computing and broadband connections ensure that we’re constantly consuming and generating data.

This new, fast and simple access to data ensures that we’re always “on.” Think about it – what’s the first thing you do when your plane lands? Turn on your phone, right?

After that, you probably check your email, Facebook or Twitter. When you do that, you aren’t just accessing data – you’re creating it. This kind of consumer behavior created Big Data.

Our consumption patterns have changed because of plummeting technology costs. Technology – especially storage and bandwidth – has become extremely cheap.

This change really can’t be understated. Modern, inexpensive technology enables and even encourages us to contribute to Big Data. How many TV series would you stream if each episode cost $10 of bandwidth, on top of rental or purchasing fees?

In 1990, data storage cost $10,000 per GB. By 2010, that figure had fallen to ten cents.

Affordable technology and Big Data allow for 48 hours of video to be uploaded to YouTube every minute. It allows over 200 billion videos to be viewed each month. Without Big Data, such things wouldn’t be possible. So what are we supposed to do with it?

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