One of the challenges for IT professionals is to ‘translate’ the jargon of the IT industry into narrative that their counterparts in business can understand. This challenge is particularly acute when the technology concept is relatively new and standard definitions have yet to be established.
‘Big data’ – the huge volumes of fast changing structured and unstructured information generated every day – is one example of a widely used, and abused, technology concept.
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I asked Mark Beyer and Doug Laney, two research vice presidents at Gartner, to help define big data, and explain its potential for business users. Here is an edited version of the discussion.
What is “big data” and why does the industry seem to have a difficult time defining it?