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Win with Advanced Business Analytics: Creating Business Value from Your Data by Jesse Harriott, Jean Paul Isson

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BIG DATA

Big data is the hottest catchphrase to hit the tech and Internet world since social. So, what does it mean? Big data tends to be a broad and overused term that is varied and ill-defined when you actually ask people to explain what it means to them. Some people define it as Web data; others define it as a large data set that cannot be handled by traditional database software; still others define it as data that flows in real time. All definitions have their weaknesses, but we like one promoted by IBM that asserts that big data has volume, velocity, and variety.4 Although we can argue with some aspects of this definition, it’s a helpful way to think about and understand how big data may differ from other data sources and how you need to think about it differently.

Volume is the attribute most people mention when they think about big data. The idea here is that you are dealing in large quantities of data, usually larger than a normal person can get his or her head around or that can be processed using traditional tools. The exact criteria for what is considered large volume is a moving target, because the technology is improving so rapidly that yesterday’s large-volume data set is today’s typical-size data set. Monster Worldwide has always dealt in very high-volume data. For example, each month the site has tens of millions of people engaging in career development and job search activities, with more than five million job searches conducted each day. This type of activity ...

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