What is big data analytics? Fast answers from diverse data sets

There’s data, and then there’s big data. So, what’s the difference?

Big data defined

A clear big data definition can be difficult to pin down because big data can cover a multitude of use cases. But in general the term refers to sets of data that are so large in volume and so complex that traditional data processing software products are not capable of capturing, managing, and processing the data within a reasonable amount of time.

These big data sets can include structured, unstructured, and semistructured data, each of which can be mined for insights.

How much data actually constitutes “big” is open to debate, but it can typically be in multiples of petabytes—and for the largest projects in the exabytes range.

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