In tech circles, the new paradigm of handling massive volumes of information has dominated the discussion about the future of enterprise for a while now. Two years ago, a cover story in The Economist offered tips on how to prepare for the “new world” of Big Data. As recently as February 12, the New York Times reported that data measurement could be the 21st century equivalent of the invention of the microscope.
So, what’s the big deal about Big Data?
Until recently, Big Data has been the darling of the largest companies – Facebook mines 845 million users’ constant stream of comments, links and photo postings to understand user motivation and optimize services; Google analyzes billions of search results to tailor high-value advertising programs. Even outside of the tech world, American Express and Visa have spent billions creating data banks capable of managing immense volumes. Storage and analytics are not an issue for these well-capitalized giants, but most organizations have lacked the technologies and specialized skills needed to harness complex data and extract useful insights.Continue Reading