Big data is a buzzword. In the past decade companies like Google, Facebook and LinkedIn have been relying on data scientists to a great extent for they are the ones influencing newer technologies to interpret the data that drives their businesses. But the term has been widely wrought in misinterpretation. It isn’t about too many numbers or large volumes of text put together to wade through in a befuddled haze. Big data is indeed big, but misnamed maybe? Anything that doesn’t fit the regular organization patterns is just skeptically pushed under this category. To some, its the same old analytics trying to be presented in a new way. Only if they knew its reach, they’d be dazzled by the opportunities it can uncover.
A known fact is that there is prodigious amount of data in the world that cannot be expected to reduce. It will simply keep accumulating. Even a fuzzy understanding of this has tempted businesses and technologies to exploit the availability of such a huge amount of data. All the hype out there is about its size but the only restricting feature is that all the data available is just not structured. Hence, the real issue is usability. This field is definitely going to be blooming in the next few years for, once the myths about it are dispelled, the results will definitely make up for the lost time. It is going to uncloak the unseen universe. Maths and statistics definitely seem like marketable skills now because all that the present content needs is organization!
Although people who’ve known about big data has always echoed the I-have-seen-the future tone, with the only understanding we have, it is difficult to even envision the opportunities it can uncover. Great efforts have been put in to improve technologies like databases. Imagine browsing through cupboards of books in a city library and then imagine having access to all the information you wanted from those books by just typing in a few keywords! Doesn’t life seem easier in the second case? Scaling that up to the level of research scientists, how helpful would it be to have access to all the data others have contributed to the same field with just a click, and in a structured manner ready for some judging? Now, that’s really powerful stuff!
Does this mean that the work which requires to be confidential will also be available to all? Would everyone have to share their data in order to structure the rest? The intersection of privacy and technology has always been a zone of controversy.
“Like it or not, we live in interesting times. There are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind”. Organizing big data would provide us with the capability of finding the needle from the haystack. If you think that’s not possible, you better know that the technologies we use now to power our lives did not exist a few years back!
All we require in this process of development is a consensus of opinions. It is for the future to answer if this kind of a technology is a boon to business or if it will undermine the key liberties we cherish!