Big data is one of the hottest discussion in the web and IT world. Hundreds of start-ups are trying to take advantage of this new demand. Many are still scratching their heads; they are still trying to figure out what “big data” really means. Big data is often defined using the 7V’s, here they are:

  1. Velocity: this represents the speed in which data is stored. For instance, Google is apparently able to track data in the amount “exabytes” every 2 days. An exabyte is equivalent to 1billion gigabytes. That is an enormous amount!
  2. Variety: this refers to the type of data that could be stored. Data can now come in varying formats, from structured to unstructured data. For instance, from XML data to audio files in Mp3 formats.
  3. Volume: this attemps to describe the massive quantity of data that is being stored, and how hardware and software is adapting to these changes. They are becoming more “scalable.”
  4. Veracity: this means authenticity and truth. Big data is meant to not only store large amounts of data at an expedient rate, but rather it’s goal is to store and extract data that is true.
  5. Variability: this refers to how the interpretation of data is so moot, and thus developers and IT professionals have created in collaboration with mathematicians tools such as: analysis, algorithms, and automation to help decipher and codify the data.
  6. Visualization: having large amounts of data means nothing if you cannot utilize it. The only way to utilize the copious amounts of data gathered is from proper visualization tools; tools that can show what the data means relative to other relevant comparative data.
  7. Value: the final definition that defines big data is value. This means that the data stored, and processed actually has value to the organization. For instance, the GPS tracking systems in vehicles can now be used to gather data and help make automate and control traffic light systems to reduce traffic.

Big data presents many opportunities and problems. Hopefully, as the future enfolds, we see more benefits then disadvantages.