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Big data : The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity

mercredi 13 juillet 2011

Data have become a torrent flowing into every area of the global economy.
Companies churn out a burgeoning volume of transactional data, capturing trillions
of bytes of information about their customers, suppliers, and operations. millions of
networked sensors are being embedded in the physical world in devices such as
mobile phones, smart energy meters, automobiles, and industrial machines that
sense, create, and communicate data in the age of the Internet of Things. Indeed, as
companies and organizations go about their business and interact with individuals,
they are generating a tremendous amount of digital “exhaust data,” i.e., data that
are created as a by-product of other activities. Social media sites, smartphones,
and other consumer devices including PCs and laptops have allowed billions of
individuals around the world to contribute to the amount of big data available. And
the growing volume of multimedia content has played a major role in the exponential
growth in the amount of big data (see Box 1, “What do we mean by ‘big data’ ?”). Each
second of high-definition video, for example, generates more than 2,000 times as
many bytes as required to store a single page of text. In a digitized world, consumers
going about their day-communicating, browsing, buying, sharing, searching-
create their own enormous trails of data.

Box 1. What do we mean by "big data" ?

“Big data” refers to datasets whose size is beyond the ability of typical
software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyze. This definition
intentionally subjective and incorporates a moving definition of how
dataset needs to be in order to be considered big data-i.e., we don’t
big data in terms of being larger than a certain number of terabytes
of gigabytes). We assume that, as technology advances over time,
datasets that qualify as big data will also increase. Also note that the
can vary by sector, depending on what kinds of software tools are
available and what sizes of datasets are common in a particular industry.
With those caveats, big data in many sectors today will range from
dozen terabytes to multiple petabytes (thousands of terabytes).

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