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Big Data Essay

1812 words - 8 pages

Imagine being in a room with 10 people talking to you. Would you be able to understand the conversations? It would be hard to concentrate on any one person’s conversation, but you could probably do it. Now, imagine being at the Superdome with 70,000 people talking to you. Would you be able to understand any of the conversations? You probably could not understand any one person for a length of time, but again you might pick out some of the words. Well, what if the scenario was 7 billion people speaking 6 thousand languages at an auctioneer’s pace on the topic of their personal family lineage; would you be able to create someone’s whole family tree? This is the type of scenario that represents the different facets of Big Data.
What does it mean to say “big data”? Big Data is more than just massive amounts of data stored together. It is more than just data delivered or analyzed fast. Meta Group’s Doug Laney described it as data that has volume, velocity, and variety (2001). This is the 3 V’s of Big Data and is widely used to define it. Additions to this definition include other V’s, such as veracity and value (XXX). What is volume? Volume could be 7 billion people speaking at once. It can be the data created by millions of Americans uploading photos, buying shoes online, or searching for the definition of Big Data. It is the volume of data being created by researchers at unprecedented amounts to chart the stars, to map the human genome, or to trend student learning across every state. Volume covers the massive amounts of data being produced by this computerized and interconnected world. Velocity denotes speed, much like the speaking pace of an auctioneer. It is not just the speed at which data is received but the speed at which data is processed. It is the almost instantaneous answer received when googling “what is big data”. It is Amazon providing additional products like shoelaces when buying shoes. It covers not just the speed that data is received at, but more importantly the speed at which data is processed. Variety is the 6000 plus languages this world speaks. It is also that multimedia art piece composed of acrylic paint strokes, charcoal pencil marks, cut out magazine photos, and glued-on pieces of glass. More to the mark the variety in big data can be phone numbers, tweeted texts, hi-res pictures, and HD videos. It is all the unstructured data in various forms that just does not fit easily into a traditional database. Yet, Big Data is more than just data alone. It is more importantly the analytical techniques and software tools used to transform all this random data into knowledge. One tool is Hadoop, which is almost synonymous with Big Data, and is widely used to manage Big Data. Other database tools, such as Google’s BigTable or Amazon’s DynamoDB, provide those companies the ability to handle Big Data. These tools help create the value of Big Data, which also requires the veracity of Big Data. ...

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