Business Intelligence Buzz Words: Big Data

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Big Data: the next big thing in Business Intelligence. Big data means getting loads and loads of data that is completely unstructured – not connected in any way – like your general ledger data, Twitter, Facebook, sales reports, market trends, emails from people who like you, the latest best-selling novels, the top TV shows for the last 2 years and CCTV from all your stores – and extracting some meaning from it all. You can't use a normal database to get sense from this data – frankly, it takes too long and you will lose interest in it. You need to use a database like Hadoop.

This is a simple graphical representation of Big Data from Wikipedia:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A visualization created by IBM of Wikipedia edits. At multiple terabytes in size, the text and
images of Wikipedia are a classic example of big data.
Yeah, I know – awesome isn't it? It tells me that … ah… there's lots of data in Wikipedia and it's edited a lot. I had no idea! (I hope you get the sarcasm). I am not sure that all organisations will find Big Data useful. I don't think most organisations have enough data to call it Big Data. My advice - focus first on BI, then predictive analytics.

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