According to IBM:
"Big data is a term applied to data sets whose size or type is beyond the ability of traditional relational databases to capture, manage, and process the data with low-latency. And it has one or more of the following characteristics – high volume, high velocity, or high variety. Big data comes from sensors, devices, video/audio, networks, log files, transactional applications, web, and social media - much of it generated in real time and in a very large scale."
"Analyzing big data allows analysts, researchers, and business users to make better and faster decisions using data that was previously inaccessible or unusable. Using advanced analytics techniques such as text analytics, machine learning, predictive analytics, data mining, statistics, and natural language processing, businesses can analyze previously untapped data sources independent or together with their existing enterprise data to gain new insights resulting in better and faster decisions."
Why Big Data?
New Opportunities: Organizations harness their Big Data to identify new opportunities. This leads to smarter business moves, more efficient operations, more revenue and satisfied customers.
Cost reduction: Big data technologies such as HDINSIGHT can dramatically reduce the costs of big data infrastructure and storage.
Expedited decision making: Businesses are able to analyze massive amounts of data in real time using high speed and large memory capabilities of technologies such as Hadoop. Combine this with the ability to analyze new and different sources of data, they make decisions based on analytical reports.
New products and services: Businesses can use big data analytics to anticipate customer needs and requirements; this enables them to innovate in the creation of new products and services.