What is "Big Data?"
So much data and so little business intelligence. That’s the irony of the information age, which is adding another 2.5 quintillion bytes to the data universe each day. Companies can either get buried by this avalanche of big data or use technology tools to mine its riches. (Forbes.com)
Big Data is a large collection of information, no matter the size of the information itself. While the size of data is part of what makes up Big Data, other factors include the speed that the data is generated, the number and variety of sources providing the information (Volume, Velocity, and Variety). Big Data is any attribute that challenges constraints of a system capability or business need.
Big data is able to exist because of the attributes of the "cloud." These attributes include economies of scale, affordability, agility and the extensible nature of the cloud.
How is Big Data Growing Today?
Many different organizations are gathering extremely large amounts of data. Retailer Databases gather consumer transactions and behaviors. Logistical, financial and health care data is gathered showing the patterns and behavior of the economy and markets around the world. Also, social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Linked In, and Twitter gather personal information about people everywhere.
Why does Big Data matter if I work in a small business?
Many of us work in a small or medium-sized business where large amounts of data within our organization can be difficult to gather. Big Data is commonly used by large corporations that house the vast amounts of data, but the most recent trend shows small businesses getting involved.
Finding meaning and relationship in all the chaos of Big Data is the challenge, but necessary to unlock its value. If a small business is able to gather some of the Big Data to analyze and choose to act on that analysis it could generate significant profits and cost reductions that will help the business grow.
Tips for using Big Data in a small business (Forbes.com)
Example of Small Business using Big Data:
Big oil companies and their gas station operators can use analytics to know exactly what a price increase or decrease of even a few cents means to sales and margins. How about the independent companies that may have only two or three gas stations? An analytics service that tracks gas sales, price changes, weather, holiday timeframes, and other factors could mean better sales and margins.
That analysis wouldn't have to be limited to sales of gas. Since so many gas stations are convenience stores with pumps, any analysis service would have to consider things like what a two-cent boost in gas prices does to sales of salted snacks, rubbery hot dogs, and sugary soft drinks.
For more Big Data and Small Business reading and information, follow these links:
Youtube: Big Data, Explaining Big Data
The Next Web: What Big Data Means for Small Business
SAS: Small Business, Big Data
Spent 3 hours reading and watching videos on subject, 1 hour writing post.