The 7 Cs of the Cloud: A Big Data Taxonomy

What’s the new landscape of the information business as Cloud Computing and the Big Data Wave usher in the Age of Big Cloud Data (ABCD)? The Web has accelerated the digitization of all content (digital information was 1% of all information in 1986 but 95% today) and the creation of new digital content (from 4.5 billion gigabytes in 2000 to 1227 billion gigabytes in 2010).  Similar to the transition from analog to digital, all of this data will (and must) transition from physical to virtual containers in the “cloud.”

The Big Data Wave and Cloud Computing are tearing down business and data walls. We used to talk about information-related “market segments:” The computer, consumer electronics, communications, and content “industries.” Another rigid divide has been the one between information created, managed, and used by enterprises (representing almost all digital information pre-Web) and information created, managed, and used by consumers.

Today, information “industries” are converging into four activities, answering the question “what do we do with data?”:

Create      Communicate      Curate (manage), and      Consume information.

The consumer/enterprise divide is being transformed into the different ways by which we discover data:

Context (dimensions of personal identity, taste, and information seeking behavior);

Circles (communities of interest, influence, relations, and localities; social identities, affinities, affiliations, rank), and

Coordination (collective action, exchange, eCommerce).

Most of the Big Data new ventures, investments, and acquisitions, can be mapped to this 4X3 matrix. It may also represents the emerging landscape of the information business in the Age of Big Cloud Data, and possibly of all business as more “industries” and economic activities become (big) data-driven.