Everyone seems to be talking about Big Data these days. And if you’re someone who feels like they are swimming downstream when everyone else is swimming upstream where it comes to this phenomenon, then you wouldn’t be alone.

The short definition of Big Data, although it can vary depending on the understanding of each person, begins with the realization that more data is being produced now than ever before. Just how much data is being produced? One need only look at the numbers from Twitter: up to 12 terabytes of data are produced from this one social media site alone per day. Once produced the data then gets interpreted and analyzed so that products it references can be analyzed. The logical next step is the improvement of products.

One expert defined Big Data as encompassing “techniques and technologies that make capturing value from data at an extreme scale economical”.

Is The Hype Bigger Than the Phenomenon?

Where it comes to the concept of Big Data, there are many who feel that there has been more ‘manufactured buzz’ about it than actual real information alluding to just how big Big Data really is.

One reason for the assumption that Big Data is more hype than reality could come from the fact that it can exist in so many variations that are difficult to quantify. The size and type of the dataset being considered will be directly related to the number of uses that data actually has.

The Types of Big Data and How They Are Used

In the business world, big data means big money. Transactional data is king in this world, which is collected from processes such as when a customer shops online for items or services. The second major data type is interactional data, which is collected from the interactions that occur between people. This is most commonly collected via social media profiles, or from photos and video.

The Good and Bad News About Big Data

The good news is that companies can find out more about you using Big Data. And that’s also the bad news. As a result of so much information now being available digitally, much outcry has been observed among consumers who say that their privacy is being violated and that no one should have the right to their data but them.

Another interesting conundrum revolves around the question of who actually owns the data that is submitted by users. For example, if you have a smart phone app which measures your vital signs and you upload it to your social media profile where all kinds of advertisers can get their hands on it, then how private is your data and do you even own it anymore?

Big Data Will Only Get Bigger

Regardless of the opinions people may hold about Big Data, the fact remains that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Any and all information collected ends up getting combined into either larger groups or added to create longer periods of time.

Where research is concerned, Big Data can offer researchers access to more data than has ever been dreamt of, and access to the data of millions of people without having to speak or otherwise communicate with a single one.

The benefits of being able to do this are virtually endless. In the case of happenings around the world, the use of Big Data can provide us with a bird’s eye view of what types of developments are occurring worldwide and allow us to compare one country or gender to another.

Individuals place their trust in companies that the data they provide to them will be safe. However, experts advise that big data, being relatively new has not yet produced products or services which can guarantee the safety of consumer information.


Guest author Jesse Schwarz writes on a variety of topics, particularly related to technology.  He is a frequent contributor at www.internet-serviceproviders.com, a site dedicated to helping consumers find information on internet safety for kids, anti-virus concerns, and how to find internet providers in your neighborhood.

Written by Adi Moore

Adi MooreFounder
Adi, the anti-censorship crusader and tech-preneur, bootstrapped his first venture in 2001 from his attic into a digital empire. With a heart for open dialogue and transparent technology, he tackles censorship like a pro wrestler. Dive into his deep insights on freedom of speech, internet liberation, and his secret info recipe.

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