Data, Data Everywhere

March 7, 2011
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“Big data” is everywhere—whether you’re talking about the explosion of new data sources and subsequent volumes or even the ubiquitous use of the term itself. The key challenge for business, however, is successfully gaining value from a seemingly inconsumable ocean of data. Like the “Ancient Mariner,” adrift on a sea of undrinkable salt water, many feel like there’s “water, water everywhere … but not a drop to drink.”

“Big data” is everywhere—whether you’re talking about the explosion of new data sources and subsequent volumes or even the ubiquitous use of the term itself. The key challenge for business, however, is successfully gaining value from a seemingly inconsumable ocean of data. Like the “Ancient Mariner,” adrift on a sea of undrinkable salt water, many feel like there’s “water, water everywhere … but not a drop to drink.”

In his Teradata Magazine article “Big Data: It’s going mainstream, and it’s your next opportunity,” Merv Adrian presents what leading companies are doing with big data. For instance, some innovative online retailers are leveraging consumers’ vast amounts of Web browsing data in concert with past purchases to better deliver what shoppers are looking for. So when someone who typically buys designer clothes searches for blue shirts on a site, they get a tailored list of brand-name shirts, instead of thousands of variations. This helps ensure they find what they want quickly rather than jumping ship to another site.

With the right approach, organizations can desalinate the big data ocean to create fresh insights to grow their business.

Mike Westholder
Managing Editor
Teradata Magazine