The information technology research and advisory firm, Gartner, defines big data as “a large volume [of] unstructured data which cannot be handled by standard database management systems.” This term became needed as the amount of data produced and transmitted has risen drastically and is continuing to do so. Every exchange on social media or other digital process we engage in contributes to this data.
This information can be valuable to businesses or other entities, but is so prolific that big data companies, such as IBM or Acxiom, are often needed to help refine and utilize it. These companies exist to help businesses and other management systems process big data for purposes such as data monetization. Such monetization will allow entities to better understand and meet consumer expectations and make strategic and calculated decisions.
The information necessary for this understanding includes the demand of the market, the competition involved, the potential value of a product or service, and the saturation of the market. This information can come from a variety of sources, making its processing and synthesis a challenge. However, through proper refining and analytics, companies and corporations can use big data to gain a competitive and informed edge in business.