The other day, the Wall Street Journal did it’s big, fat panoramic story on how the Big Data trend is taking over business decisions in nearly every industry (see: So, What’s Your Algorithm by Dennis K. Berman).
This weekend it was the New York Times’s turn and they didn’t disappoint…
What is Big Data? A meme and a marketing term, for sure, but also shorthand for advancing trends in technology that open the door to a new approach to understanding the world and making decisions. There is a lot more data, all the time, growing at 50 percent a year, or more than doubling every two years, estimates IDC, a technology research firm. It’s not just more streams of data, but entirely new ones. For example, there are now countless digital sensors worldwide in industrial equipment, automobiles, electrical meters and shipping crates. They can measure and communicate location, movement, vibration, temperature, humidity, even chemical changes in the air.
Link these communicating sensors to computing intelligence and you see the rise of what is called the Internet of Things or the Industrial Internet. Improved access to information is also fueling the Big Data trend. For example, government data — employment figures and other information — has been steadily migrating onto the Web. In 2009, Washington opened the data doors further by starting Data.gov, a Web site that makes all kinds of government data accessible to the public.
Moneyball everywhere. This is probably the best explainer of Big Data in the mainstream media to date, definitely a must-read.