March 21, 2017



Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data – both structured and unstructured – that inundates a business on a day-to-day basis. But it’s not the amount of data that’s important. It’s what organizations do with the data that matters. Big data can be analyzed for insights that lead to better decisions and strategic business moves.

Big data can be described by the following characteristics:

The quantity of generated and stored data. The size of the data determines the value and potential insight- and whether it can actually be considered big data or not.

The type and nature of the data. This helps people who analyze it to effectively use the resulting insight.

In this context, the speed at which the data is generated and processed to meet the demands and challenges that lie in the path of growth and development.

Inconsistency of the data set can hamper processes to handle and manage it.

The quality of captured data can vary greatly, affecting accurate analysis.

Factory work and Cyber-physical systems may have a 6C system

  • Connection (sensor and networks)
  • Cloud (computing and data on demand)
  • Cyber (model and memory)
  • Content/context (meaning and correlation)
  • Community (sharing and collaboration)
  • Customization (personalization and value)


Big data has increased the demand of information management specialists so much so that Software AG, Oracle Corporation, IBM, Microsoft, SAP, EMC, HP and Dell have spent more than $15 billion on software firms specializing in data management and analytics. In 2010, this industry was worth more than $100 billion and was growing at almost 10 percent a year: about twice as fast as the software business as a whole.

Developed economies increasingly use data-intensive technologies. There are 4.6 billion mobile-phone subscriptions worldwide, and between 1 billion and 2 billion people accessing the internet. Between 1990 and 2005, more than 1 billion people worldwide entered the middle class, which means more people became more literate, which in turn lead to information growth. The world’s effective capacity to exchange information through telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2.2 exabytes in 2000, 65 exabytes in 2007 and predictions put the amount of internet traffic at 667 exabytes annually by 2014. According to one estimate, one third of the globally stored information is in the form of alphanumeric text and still image data, which is the format most useful for most big data applications. This also shows the potential of yet unused data (i.e. in the form of video and audio content).

While many vendors offer off-the-shelf solutions for big data, experts recommend the development of in-house solutions custom-tailored to solve the company’s problem at hand if the company has sufficient technical capabilities.

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