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Discuss the Phenomenon of ‘big Data'

Autor:   •  April 18, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  2,108 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,248 Views

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This thesis will discuss the Phenomenon of ‘Big Data’ and how it has changed traditional approaches to decision-making. We will begin at looking at Big Data itself and what decision-making involves. Next, we will examine different approaches to traditional decision-making and with this, look at how big data has revolutionised these approaches. Furthermore, we will identify the issues that have arisen due to the presence of big data within decision-making. Penultimately, we will look at different issues revolving around Big Data in the real world; once again hoping to address these issues as best possible. Finally I will conclude with a summary of the points talked about and than my overall judgment of big data from the information looked at.

A Petabyte is measure of data so big, that it is unfathomable to the average person. It is measurements of this magnitude that have relevance to large amounts of data, also known as ‘Big Data’. Big data is a dataset whose size is beyond the ability of typical database software tools to capture, store, manage, and analyse (Manyijka 2008). A common misconception is that Big Data merely relates to size. Whilst this is a major element of Big Data, there are other aspects and properties to big data; for example, the speed of the data being generated and the variety of sources simultaneously generating data. Therefore, big data encapsulates any attribute that challenges the constraints of a systems capability or business needs. As well as the phenomena of big data being identified by its growth and size, it is further shown how it has provided gains for different sectors of the economy in terms of productivity - illustrated by the graph above (Constantinides 2012). Wal-Mart, a retail giant, identified it handles more than 1m customer transactions every hour, feeding databases estimated at more than 2.5 petabytes (Hitt & Kim 2010). The benefits of obtaining large amounts of information will be identified further through the essay.

In the Economist Intelligence Unit Survey, which was supported by Capgemini, several senior executives were asked “Approximately to what extent do you believe that the use of big data has improved your organisation’s overall performance already, and can improve overall performance in the next three years?” The graph illustrates the magnitude to which ‘big data has had a positive result, with 26% of individuals highlighting its performance, and the value increasing to 40% for big data’s relevance 3 years into the future (Capgemini 2011). Chris Anderson, editor of Wired and

author of Long Tail and Free, wrote gushingly about how Google uses data and said, “The new availability of huge amounts of data, along with the statistical tools to crunch these numbers, offers a whole new way of understanding the world. Correlation supersedes causation, and science can advance even without coherent models, unified theories, or really any


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