What is big data?

Big Data Explained

Big Data is a term used for large data sets which are so huge that traditional software cannot deal with them.

In a business sense, big data also refers to extremely large data sets that can be analysed to reveal patterns, trends and various insights.

The rise of big data in business is being pushed by the exponential growth and availability of data, both structured and unstructured.

There are a number of challenges surrounding Big Data, including: capture, storage, analysis, curation, search, sharing, transfer, visualisation, querying, updating and information privacy.

While there are many misconceptions about big data, such as believing that it is necessary to collect and store large amounts of your own data, it cannot be denied that this buzzword has great significance to businesses and the world.

Industry analyst Doug Laney said in 2001 that the mainstream definition of big data consists of three V’s: volume, velocity and variety.

What do the three V’s mean?

Technology Term:

Big Data

Standard Definition Exists?

Extremely large data sets that may be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions.

Year first used/coined:


Attributed to:

John Mashey

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