In This Chapter
Understanding the impact that big data is making in several diverse fields
Checking out new products and services stemming from big data
Considering the challenges facing users of big data
Thanks to the continuing surge of computing power and storage capacity, it has become possible to gather, process, and analyze quantities of data that would have been unimaginable just a decade ago. This has given rise to the entirely new field of big data. Big data bridges several disciplines, including statistics, mathematics, and computer science. It addresses the unique challenges associated with processing enormous volumes of information. Big data is already making major inroads into a wide variety of highly diversified fields, ranging from online shopping to healthcare services.
This chapter introduces several of the most exciting areas in which big data is having a major impact. In many cases, the acceleration of computer technology is increasing efficiency, lowering costs, making new services available, and improving the quality of life. Some of these areas include the following: