James DiEdwardo, Senior Software Developer
February 8, 2017
Big Data refers to the collection of information that is so massive that traditional data processing applications are ill-equipped to handle it. And are WE equipped to handle impact it will soon have on our planet? The author of this blog post gives us the 411 (pun intended).vent it from being compromised. The author of this blog post explains what steps can you take to keep your content secure in the digital age.
“In the near future, every object on Earth will be generating data including our homes, our cars, even our bodies. Almost everything we do today leaves a trail of digital exhaust, a perpetual stream of text, location data and other information that will live on well after each of us is long gone. We are now being exposed to as much information in a single day as our 15th century ancestors were exposed to in their entire lifetimes.
But we need to be very careful because in this vast ocean of data there is a frighteningly complete picture of us—where we live, where we go, what we buy, what we say. It’s all being recorded and stored forever. This is the story of an extraordinary revolution that’s sweeping almost invisibly through our lives.”1
What is Big Data?
Big Data refers to the monstrous collection of structured and unstructured information that is so large and complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate to handle it. As technology continues to develop at an inconceivable rate, it is important to address the powerful impact it will have on our planet in the coming years.
A majority of the electronic devices we use are now collecting and storing data that can be accessed around the world. With this information at hand, scientists are beginning to process and analyze our behaviors to reveal trends, associations, and patterns that have never been studied before. To give you an idea of just how incredible our data storage technology has become:
“In 2014, researchers published a study in the journal ‘Supercomputing Frontiers and Innovations’ estimating the storage capacity of the Internet at one million Exabyte’s (10^24 bytes). A byte is a data unit comprising 8 bits, and is equal to a single character in one of the words you’re reading now. An Exabyte is one quintillion bytes…”2
It was once estimated that all words spoken by human beings since the beginning of mankind could be stored in 5 Exabyte’s, and Google alone currently stores 10. Now before you try to conceptualize the magnitude of one million Exabyte’s, the data storage projections for the year 2020 make these numbers look insignificant. Accomplishing this extraordinary milestone in data storage in such a short period of time has propelled us into the digital universe of the future, and scientists have already begun exploring some of the benefits of Big Data.
One of the most exciting benefits will be the use of big data in the healthcare industry. A large portion of the data currently being collected by our healthcare services is extremely underutilized. Being able to store and analyze millions (eventually billions) of patient records as well as the data recorded by medical instruments may in time reveal trends that could help doctors detect illnesses before they are even diagnosed. In addition, many companies will also be able to use big data to evaluate their customer interactions, and restructure their businesses to eliminate unneeded services. There is always a concern of the impact on individual privacy, but with the amount of potential these technological breakthroughs are giving us we can only hope they are used to help the world in the best ways.
1,2 The Human Face of Big Data: http://thehumanfaceofbigdata.com