Big Data | All you can eat programming

For many just a buzz word, for big business the current big thing, big data and the benefits it leverages may not be as out of reach as it seems...

Without attempting a formal definition, big data means storing vast amounts of data (orders of magnitude more than traditionally available) and then using advanced tools to glean useful business information from these large datasets.

A number of factors have contributed to bringing big data to within the realm of small business:

  • More and more sources of data - 'IoT' (the Internet of Things) means that just about every device is connected and generating data. Most of this data is not collected (or is not used), but can be.
  • New methods of storage - most significantly the emergence of 'nosql' distributed database technolgies that are designed to store vast amounts of non (or not very) structured data. Examples are MongoDB, CouchDB, Cassandra, etc.
  • Decreasing costs of hardware - the rapidly expanding storage capabilies and ever decreasing costs of devices make it practical to store 'everything'.
  • The Cloud - the emergence of cloud computing means there is somewhere cheap to keep all this data. Importantly, the cloud means we can scale up computing power on demand when we need to analyse stuff and then scale down back to 'storage level' once analysis of a particular set is complete.
  • New tools - technolgies like Hadoop allow rapid and efficient analysis of complex data sets, gleaning nuggets valuable information from vast mounds of metrics.

Why not call us to bounce around a few ideas.