What are data? This seems like a simple enough question; however, depending on the interpretation, the definition of data can be anything from “something recorded” to “everything under the sun.” Data can be summed up as everything that is experienced, whether it is a machine recording information from sensors, an individual taking pictures, or a cosmic event recorded by a scientist. In other words, everything is data. However, recording and preserving that data has always been the challenge, and technology has limited the ability to capture and preserve data.
The human brain’s memory storage capacity is supposed to be around 2.5 petabytes (or 1 million gigabytes). Think of it this way: If your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold 3 million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all of that storage space. The available technology for storing data fails in comparison, creating a technology segment called Big Data that is growing exponentially.
Today, businesses are recording more and more information, and that information (or data) is growing, consuming more and more storage space and becoming harder to manage, thus creating Big Data. The reasons vary for the need to record such massive amounts of information. Sometimes the reason is adherence to compliance regulations, at other times it is the need to preserve transactions, and in many cases it is ...