Big Data: Say what?

BigData word cloud


Big Data is booming. Some even speak about an upcoming Big Data revolution. The possibilities of Big Data are endless and the challenges are major. It is a source of innovation that helps in the creation of better insights, interventions and decision-making. We believe that this technology can change the world.


With this in mind, we established BigData.Company. Along with various parties, we focus on possible applications of Big Data. Our ambition is to show how we can use Big Data to improve people’s lives and day to day experiences.


But what does Big Data mean exactly? Not everyone agrees on this. In Jenny Dutcher’s article, 40 thought leaders from different branches were asked to give a definition of Big Data. Here is a selection of some of the answers:


– Amy Escobar; Data Scientist, 2U Inc

“Big data is an opportunity to gain a more complex understanding of the relationships between different factors and to uncover previously undetected patterns in data.”


– Josh Ferguson; Chief Technology Officer, Mode Analytics
“Big data is the broad name given to challenges and opportunities we have as data about every aspect of our lives becomes available. It’s not just about data though; it also includes the people, processes, and analysis that turn data into meaning.”


– Joel Gurin; Author of Open Data Now
“Big data describes datasets that are so large, complex, or rapidly changing that they push the very limits of our analytical capability. […] the most important kinds of Big data – and perhaps the only ones worth the effort – are those that can have a big impact through what they tell us about society, public health, the economy, scientific research, or any number of other large-scale subjects.”


– Quentin Hardy; Deputy Tech Editor, The New York Times
“What’s “big” in big data isn’t necessarily the size of the databases, it’s the big number of data sources we have, as digital sensors and behavior trackers migrate across the world. As we triangulate information in more ways, we will discover hitherto unknown patterns in nature and society — and pattern-making is the wellspring of new art, science, and commerce.”


– Prakash Nanduri; Co-Founder, CEO and President, Paxata Inc.
“Big data is at the intersection of collecting, organizing, storing, and turning all of that raw data into truly meaningful information.”


– Mark van Rijmenam; CEO/Founder, BigData-Startups
“Big data is not all about volume, it is more about combining different data sets and to analyze it in real-time to get insights for your organization.”


You can find all definitions on the blog datascience@berkeley: []

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