What is Big Data?

A common definition of “Big Data” emerged in the early 2000s which involved three  descriptions starting with “V” – Volume, Velocity and Variety.   Hence, “Big Data” can be defined as:

  • Large volume datasets (e.g. Square Kilometre Array may generate 1 Exabyte / day),
  • High velocity data (data created real-time with requirements for near real-time ingestion, analysis and visualisation) and/or
  • Highly unstructured data (many different formats, large variety of data types and unstructured compared to traditional structured database data).

People have also started to add additional V’s.  These include Veracity, Variability, Visualisation and Value however the original three V’s are still the best way to define “Big Data”.

Even though ‘Big Data’ can be considered a “buzzword”, it describes something which is real and of growing importance. In addition to the discussion about “Big Data”, consideration should also be given to how it relates to “Thick Data” (qualitative data).  “Big Data”, by itself, is not a panacea for all the world’s problems and its limitations need to be acknowledged.

Perth Big Data Week aims to provide practical and relevant events that discuss the importance of “Big Data” for Perth.  ‘Big Data’ is becoming increasingly important across all areas, including business.

For example Woodside’s Vice President Science, Tom Ridsdill-Smith said “In an effort to continually improve performance and solve the next generation of business problems, Woodside is deploying cognitive computing, advanced analytics and optimisation across our business.  

“We’re doing this because we see these technologies as the next chapter in gaining insights and in knowledge management – which for us means easily accessing and utilising Woodside’s sixty years of exploration, development and production knowledge.

“Participating in Big Data Week provides us with an opportunity to share, learn and participate in activities and events with people and organisations who have similar goals and objectives,” he said.

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