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Big Data Behind the Buzzword

19 September 2012 by Alice Cullen

virtualisation With big data continuing to be the year’s biggest buzzword – we ask a panel of experts their view on what big data actually is and how we can use it in business.

“The term big data was only conceived around the time of 2000-2001 when there was a research paper that made mention of it. Then, a few years later, I was at a financial event and people had started to talk of it. I think it’s very interesting that the financial side of the industry was the first to really start talking about big data and big data analytics.

“Big data is now almost starting to become a generic term like cloud computing which means something different to all of us.”
Steve Gold, IT Security Pro

“The way that I picture it, big data is almost the wrong term. To me, big data is getting sensible intelligence from a lot of data. It’s almost more big intelligence than big data, that’s the important term. It’s about having the systems in place that give you the ability to ask and answer intelligent business questions on massive unstructured amounts of data.”
Tim Langely, Canddi

“The explosion of big data has really come about because of the timing as well. Managing big data became possible because the technology has evolved to enable the realtime analysis of the data. So, big data for me is really a joint thing between the mobility of data and the technology and view from analysers who realise they can do something with it to work out how to get some value from the information it provides.”
Goran Newadic, University of Manchester

“For me there are two types of big data, dependent upon which decision you want to make. First, there is offline data which is when you want to crunch a lot of data to make better decisions on planning for example. Then, there is realtime data, where you’re trying to make decisions on things that are happening right at the moment. A great realtime example of this can be seen in telecoms: when you meet a customer and have data on them that is up-to-date at that moment. You then use this data to make a decision about that customer, like their choice of mobile tariff based on their usage for example.”
Daniel Joseph Barry, Napatech

We’d love to get your view on big data – how have you used it to your advantage? Is it overhyped? Let us know by leaving your comments below.