What’s the Big Data?

Big Data is….

….the rapid growth in the amount of digital data created around the world

…the new tools helping us find relevant data and analyze its implications

…the availability of on-demand computing and storage resources in the cloud

…the new theory and practice of management

…the convergence of enterprise and consumer IT

…the shift (for enterprises) from processing internal data to mining external data

…the shift (for individuals) from consuming data to creating data

…the convergence of Madame Olympe Maxime and Lieutenant Commander Data.

Big Data is some of, all of, or much more than the above and this blog explores its impact on information technology, the business world, government agencies, and our lives.

My connection to the subject? I twice assisted in developing important milestones in the evolution of our understanding of Big Data, specifically in estimating the size and growth of digital data. In 2000,  I asked Hal Varian (then at UC Berkeley, now Chief Economist at Google) to conduct the the first study to estimate the amount of information (analog and digital) created in the world. In 2007, I asked IDC to estimate the total amount of digital data created and replicated each year and forecast its growth. Both studies, sponsored by EMC, were covered extensively by the mass media (print, online, and broadcast) worldwide, reflecting the spread of digital data from corporate glass houses to our living rooms. They also motivated other researchers (see here and here and here) to use different methodologies to answer similar questions.

See also:   My First Venture in Data and its Analysis

After spending more than twenty years managing research, marketing, and communications projects and programs at NORC, DEC, and EMC, I now run my own consulting practice, gPress, providing writing, research and marketing services.

Gil Press

gpress900 at gmail.com


Twitter: @GilPress

My Pressed Data column at Forbes.com

My Story of Information blog


8 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: What the heck is Big Data?

  2. Lawrence Hecht says:

    I believe Hal Varian retired.


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