Essential Guide

Maximizing and managing big data with SOA middleware

A comprehensive collection of articles, videos and more, hand-picked by our editors

big data

Big data is an evolving term that describes any voluminous amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data that has the potential to be mined for information. Although big data doesn't refer to any specific quantity, the term is often used when speaking about petabytes and exabytes of data.

Big data is an evolving term that describes any voluminous amount of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data that has the potential to be mined for information.

Big data can be characterized by 3Vs: the extreme volume of data, the wide variety of types of data and the velocity at which the data must be must processed. Although big data doesn't refer to any specific quantity, the term is often used when speaking about petabytes and exabytes of data, much of which cannot be integrated easily.

big data

Because big data takes too much time and costs too much money to load into a traditional relational database for analysis, new approaches to storing and analyzing data have emerged that rely less on data schema and data quality. Instead, raw data with extended metadata is aggregated in a data lake and machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) programs use complex algorithms to look for repeatable patterns. 

Big data analytics is often associated with cloud computing because the analysis of large data sets in real-time requires a platform like Hadoop to store large data sets across a distributed cluster and MapReduce to coordinate, combine and process data from multiple sources.

Although the demand for big data analyticsis high, there is currently a shortage of data scientists and other analysts who have experience working with big data in a distributed, open source environment. In the enterprise, vendors have responded to this shortage by creating Hadoop appliances to help companies take advantage of the semi-structured and unstructured data they own.

Big data can be contrasted with small data, another evolving term that's often used to describe data whose volume and format can be easily used for self-service analytics. A commonly quoted axiom is that "big data is for machines; small data is for people."

See also: big data as a service, big data management, Oracle Big Data Appliance

This was first published in July 2014

Continue Reading About big data

Glossary

'big data ' is part of the:

View All Definitions

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

Essential Guide

The state of the enterprise cloud and prepping for AWS re:Invent 2013

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchServerVirtualization

SearchVMware

SearchVirtualDesktop

SearchAWS

SearchDataCenter

SearchWindowsServer

SearchSOA

SearchCRM

Close