What is big data?

Brace yourself, its bigger then what you think. Its hard to visualise as its gigantic.

I’ve attached a photo, I recently have taken of the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast, Australia. Its one of the world’s tallest residential towers, but its extremely hard for you to gauge from this photo, how big it really is.

This is the issue with Big Data. Whilst you can see the size of a Skyscraper, you cant see the size of Big Data.

One way, I’ve seen it described is when the amount of data itself becomes the issue.

We are experiencing an exponential growth of data – that is broadly grouped into structured and unstructured. Where unstructured, is not formally defined according to a schema or ontology. Its this data, what may appear in log files, a blog post (such as this) or other interactions through social media on the internet, that is causing the explosion.

In August 2010, Google’s Eric Schmidt stated

“Between the birth of the world and 2003, there were five exabytes of information created. We [now] create five exabytes every two days. See why it’s so painful to operate in information markets?”
Eric Schmidt, CEO, Google

Whats an exabyte you say?

· 1 Bit = Binary Digit
· 8 Bits = 1 Byte
· 1024 Bytes = 1 Kilobyte
· 1024 Kilobytes = 1 Megabyte
· 1024 Megabytes = 1 Gigabyte
· 1024 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte
· 1024 Terabytes = 1 Petabyte
· 1024 Petabytes = 1 Exabyte
· 1024 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte

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