What exactly is Big Data?

What is big data?

As we announced last week, today is the first day of Big Data week at CartoDB!

How can we begin to better understand and explain what big data is? Everyday we read in newspapers and social media the words ‘big data’ as it applies to businesses and systems of analysis and data aggregation. While it may seem like a marketing ploy, a critical approach to understanding what exactly big data is can provide new meaning to business intelligence.

In plan terms, big data is described as a situation where the amount, expanse, and type of data exceeds an organization’s storage or analysis capacity for accurate and efficient decision making.

An example of this is when you have a large dataset with millions of points and several columns that updates to include more data on the hour. Additionally, this dataset includes various, disparate varieties of data - like images, drone data, or mobile ad clicks. That simply is big data. However, the real understanding of big data comes from being able to distinguish from all that data what is relevant and useful.

The true value lies not just in having it, but in harvesting it for fast, fact-based decisions that lead to real business value. The implementation of a technology like CartoDB’s Deep Insights can take you from the broad definition of big data to a narrow analysis that allows for the best business insights.

Experts say that 80% of data has a spatial component. However, organizations have been using only a subset of their data, or they are constrained to simplistic analysis because the sheer volume of data overwhelms their platforms. What good is it to collect and store terabytes of data if you can’t analyze it in full context, or if you have to wait hours or days to get results to urgent questions?

CartoDB is ready to visualize and analyze hundreds of millions of data points. CartoDB for Big Data is a business intelligence tool that allows the visualization and drill down of hundreds of millions of points, adding filters to the data based on predetermined dimensions, and spatio-temporal criteria.

Join us and discover even more about it and how using location intelligence can improve your business intelligence. Don’t forget to sign up for our webinar, this Thursday, April 7 on Deep Insights, hosted by Jaime de Mora!

Happy big data mapping!

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