Information governance is the key to unlocking big data.  That phrase might different things to different people as not everyone will define big data the same way.  TechTarget has a great e-guide on what big data is entitled, “How Big Is Big Data”. The first part is “Big Data: What it is and what it means for today’s enterprise IT,” by Calla Knopman.  Ms. Knopman looks at the following two questions:

  1. What do we mean by big data and what makes it big
  2. How does big data impact the role business and/or IT

In regards to the first question, let this statement from Ms. Knopman rock your mind:

“Gartner estimates the total amount of unstructured data alone will increase to 650% of its current size by 2017. IDG predicts the amount of data will exceed 8 zettabytes by 2015 and, my favorite, the amount of data created in any year (365 days) in the 1990s is created in 60 seconds today. Thus, gone are the days of discussing gigabytes and terabytes; we are now in the petabyte, exabyte and, yes, zettabyte era.”
The second question is tackled head on by the second article, “Big Data – separating the hype from the reality,” by Barry Devlin.  One of the impacts that Mr. Devlin talks about is data mining.  “The business driver for big data is a logical extension of data mining. The novelty lies in the fact that with ever larger data volumes and new data sources, we can obtain more statistically accurate results and, hopefully, make more accurate prediction.”
One of the things that I really appreciated about this e-guide was a figure in Mr. Devlin’s article that outlines the four classes of big data.  I have pasted the figure below.
The four classes are:
  1. Metrics and Measures (well-defined structure and machine sourcing)
  2. Event Logs (loose structure and machine sourcing)
  3. Social Text Media (well-defined structure and human sourcing)
  4. Social Media (loose structure and human sourcing)

These four classes are then divided based into structure (well-defined vs. loose) and handling (human vs. machine).  Interesting enough, at the center of the figure is mobile technology which combines well-defined and loose structure with human and machine sourcing by incorporating all four classes of big data.  The impact of mobile technology on big data takes business intelligence to the Ivy Leagues.

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