Just by looking at the term, one might presume that big data simply refers to the handling and analysis of large volumes of data.

According to the McKinsey Institute’s report “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity“, big data refers to datasets where the size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage and analyse. And the world’s data repositories have certainly been growing.

In IDC’s mid-year 2011 Digital Universe Study (sponsored by EMC), it was predicted that 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes) of data would be created and replicated in 2011 — a ninefold increase over what was produced in 2006.



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