Big Data: It’s not a buzzword, it’s a movement

Big Data has become an all encompassing, somewhat sprawling term.  Seemingly, it has as many definitions as it does applications, Forbes reports. So what is Big Data, exactly, and what does it mean for business and investing?

I had the opportunity to discuss the topic with two pioneers in the space.

Mayank Bawa is co-president and co-founder of Teradata Aster. He leads the Aster Center of Innovation’s Research and Development and Customer Support.  Abhinav Gupta is vice president of engineering and a co-founder of Rocket Fuel . Previously, he was Yahoo engineering director and led the development of their next-generation behavior-targeting platform.

In its most simple explanation, Big Data represents the ability to process a large amount of complex information to make better-informed business decisions. But as Bawa and Gupta explain, Big Data is much more than that.

“Big Data is not a specific technology. Big Data is a movement,” says Bawa.  “It is about how organizations leverage different kinds of information for different types of business purposes to unlock value that was previously unattainable or unknowable.”

Data has always been used to develop high-level metrics and business intelligence.

Smart organizations have long relied on data to help make strategic business decisions.  But the power and allure of Big Data is how it enables organizations to leverage unconventional data points: the information that was previously ignored because there was no reasonable way to process it.

Read more