Skip navigation

Defining Big Data: Understanding the Tech Buzzword of 2013

So what exactly is Big Data and how does it impact a business?

The basics of Big Data can be boiled down to four main components, affectionately know as the “4 Vs of Big Data.” Having a general understanding of the 4 Vs is crucial to avoiding misconceptions about Big Data.

The 4 Vs of Big Data:

  1. Volume – It’s no surprise the first component of Big Data is the amount of data a business needs to store. Experts consider Big Data to be the massive volume of both structured (database) and unstructured (native files, like Microsoft Word, Excel, Keynote, Pages, etc.) data existing at any given time across an enterprise. This volume of data is cumbersome, difficult to manage and difficult to process using traditional database and software methods.
  2. Velocity – Velocity refers to how frequently a company creates or updates data, and how long it sits until it is put to use. The future of Big Data relies heavily on this component as the rate at which data is constantly updated determines the utility of sending Big Data to the Cloud.
  3. Variety – The term “Big Data” encompasses an assortment of different data and file types, including text strings, documents of all types, audio and video files, social media feeds, and form data. In fact, it’s not the run-of-the-mill files stored by a business that are responsible for the rise of Big Data; this honor belongs to social media, according to Mashable’s “Top 5 Myths About Big Data” article. The influx of user content published to sites like Facebook and Twitter requires that the storage capacity of these social platforms be constantly expanded.
  4. Veracity – In order for organizations to put their trust in Big Data and be confident with its integrity within the cloud, Big Data storage must be extremely secure, and protected against malware and other external threats. Also, the effects of Big Data on productivity and growth within a company require that decision-making executives see the value of cloud-based storage. Additionally, reliability must be proven in terms of the functionality of cloud-based storage.

Big Data will likely continue to be a topic of discussion for some time to come. There is a lot to learn about the future of information storage, and having a general understanding of Big Data is an important first step to avoid becoming overwhelmed by this new theme in tech. How has your company taken steps toward managing its Big Data?

Share This