Real Times: Big Data Promises Big Benefits


(February 28, 2013) Big data is getting bigger: Each day, Facebook processes 2.5 billion peices of content. Numbers like this are impressive, but the story behind this exciting new concept is more subtle - and so is the way that forward-thinking organizations handle it.

Tony Lock, program director at strategic consulting company Freeform Dynamics, cites the “three Vs” when describing big data: volume, variation and velocity.

There is certainly far more data than there was before. Everything from social media to components of the growing “Internet of Things” is contributing to the data pile.

The data being produced is also vastly different. Tweets and LinkedIn updates rub shoulders with geolocation data from phones and GPS devices. Sensors in everything from cars to airplane engines contribute different kinds of data (there are currently 100.4 million machine-to-machine connections worldwide). Documents, audio and video calls add to the mix, with 72 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube alone every minute.

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