Big Data, while also the name of an American electronic music group, is a field of study dedicated towards examining ways of analyzing and extracting information from a set of data that is too large to be analyzed using the more traditional, old-fashioned methods of analysis. As the world has become more and more technologically advanced, all of us as a people have suddenly been given access to more information than any human being could ever sift through and attempt to make sense of. In every field of study, from microbiology to sociology, people now have at their fingertips an unbelievable amount of information to sort through. The various types of software programs that are commonly used when dealing with smaller data sets are simply not equipped to deal with such massive amounts of data.
When it has been said that they are not equipped to deal with such massive amounts of data, what is really meant is that the amount of time it would take them to perform the task would be unacceptably large, and subsequently that the information extracted would not be worth the time and energy. See, the term ‘Big Data’ doesn’t just refer to very large amounts of information being analyzed, but sometimes also the sheer value of the analysis being performed rather than the size of the data set. The difficulties implicit with accomplishing tasks like this are easy to underestimate, especially a layman. But because of just how many different areas of life this form of data analysis allows us to understand more fully, it is widely considered to be one of the most important fields of study being undertaken today.
With each day that passes, Big data offers humanity the ability to store large amounts of information that are essentially incomprehensible to the average person, and does so at an increasing rate. It is estimated that the total amount of information that the world at large is able to store will more than quadruple over the next ten years, and the rate at which this number is increasing is growing exponentially as well. However, without a streamlined system of software capable of parsing through this unbelievably enormous amount of data, all of this information being stored is not useful. This ability to quickly and efficiently search for, analyze and draw conclusions from these very large data sets is swiftly becoming an invaluable resource. For the most part, the average individual will rarely require the big data analysis techniques outside of weather forecasting or decoding the human genome. But as time goes by, this will change at a steadily increasing rate. Over the next several decades, Big Data technology is likely to become one of the most significant and groundbreaking areas of software and hardware development.