With Big Data, Size Doesn't Matter

In many ways, the Big Data phenomenon is not what most people think it is. Although it's true that the movement is bound to spark change and innovation in the workplace, the overall transformation won't necessarily rely on the collection of vast amounts of information. Having this ability is relatively new and does provide numerous benefits, but it isn't the primary advantage of the IT transformation.

Instead, the power to analyze and convert multiple unstructured data sources into meaningful insight is the most significant opportunity. A Smart Data Collective report highlighted how innovative database technologies allow research teams, businesses, healthcare firms, government agencies, and most other types of organization to do much more with the information they collect than ever before.

The truth of the matter is that companies have always gathered and analyzed complex information because this process allowed them to develop customized marketing strategies and other initiatives. Today, companies have access to more sophisticated and scalable solutions that provide new ways to carry out age-old tasks, improving efficiency and productivity as a result.

More important, the analytic services available now enable organizations to evaluate both types of data: unstructured and structured. Smart Data Collective noted that the latter comprises the neat, legible, and understandable information companies use on a regular basis, including financial transactions and stock data. Unstructured data, on the other hand, consists of information and files that were traditionally difficult to store in conventional databases.

Fortunately, organizations have access to several new technologies that are driving the Big Data movement forward. The news source stated that enterprises can now access less expensive distributed storage environments, including those within the cloud computing landscape, as well as network performance improvements. At the same time, the emergence of Hadoop and other advanced analytic platforms is providing decision-makers with the ability to analyze more complex information.

A recent Microsoft survey found that more than half of responding companies currently store at least 100 terabytes of data, which is a much larger set than ever before. Now that executives have access to flexible and inexpensive storage and analytic tools, however, they don't need to be concerned about the traditional problems that often emerged when similar endeavors were tackled in the past.

In the coming years, the IT services used within Big Data projects will continue to evolve, allowing organizations of all sizes to analyze and make effective use of vast amounts of information as well as take advantage of a wider range of opportunities.

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