Big data not just about volume
The importance of tools like big data analytics continues to grow, making it vital that businesses keep pace with their ever-expanding data volumes. Although size is a crucial aspect of managing and studying these massive caches, it is not the only thing that matters, according to author Victor Mayer-Schonberger.
In an interview with Wired, Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier, authors of Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think, gave their two cents when it comes to the big data phenomenon.
"It's not about the volume in absolute terms. Yes, the total amount of data that we're analyzing and capturing gets much bigger," Mayer-Schonberg told Wired. "But what we're really focused on is that we have more data about a phenomenon relative to the total amount of data that is out there."
When asked if he agrees with the definition of big data, Cukier explained that the term is not perfect and many people appear to focus primarily on the volume of big data, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
Big data's impact just getting started
Companies worldwide are beginning to realize the importance of big data, especially in terms of how analytics can help them improve their decision-making and other areas of their operations. A report by IDC predicted that the market for big data technology and services will expand at a compound annual growth rate of roughly 32 percent between 2012 and 2016, totaling nearly $24 billion.
The rapid evolution of big data is expected to be so great that IDC indicated that the market will grow approximately seven times faster than the information and communication landscape.
Dan Vesset, vice president at IDC, explained that big data is influencing many aspects of the IT landscape, including decision-makers and the development of jobs.
"It is an important topic on many executive agendas and presents some of the most attractive job opportunities for people with the right technology, analytics, communication and industry domain expertise," Vesset said.
Clearly big data is here to stay. A separate report by IDC predicted that enterprise IT spending will total $474 billion in 2013, growing 6 percent from last year. The research firm explained that innovative technologies like big data, analytics mobility and cloud computing are driving further investments in tech, despite a recovering economy.