What Is Big Data?

Doug Bannister
January 7, 2015

Fueling the move to leverage data to improve business processes is the wide spread interest and discussion around the term “Big Data”. This popular term is often used to describe the huge growth and availability of both structured and unstructured data. Generally, there are 5 V’s highlighted when talking about big data – Volume, Variety, Veracity, Velocity and Value.

What Is Big Data 1There has been an exponential growth in the availability and volume of data. Virtually all devices are now generating data, in some way, shape, or form. Think of the volume of data being generated by your mobile phone today versus your home phone 5-10 years ago. Back then your phone led to a simple entry of name, address, and phone number in a printed phone book. Now the device, the apps on it and the technology in it like the GPS and Bluetooth all generate data.

Other more unexpected things like rail cars and jet engines also generate huge volumes of data. Rail cars can have upwards of 200 sensors on them that analyse things such as speed, velocity, temperature, pressure across a whole trip. Jet engines are packed with sensors and one engine can generate half a terabyte of data an hour.

So what do you do with all of this data? How do you leverage this in your organization? Of the 5 Vs, Value is perhaps the most important. If you can use your data to drive action, improve behaviour, enhance culture, breakdown silos, and increase sales you will be able gain competitive edge and leap frog your competition by innovating with information.

What Is Big Data 2


Doug is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Omnivex Corporation.

Doug is considered by many as a visionary in the digital signage space. In his role as CEO and CTO Doug is responsible for the long term product architecture and the overall vision for the company. He has always maintained direct responsibility for the architecture of the software to ensure the product remains at the forefront of the industry. Combined with his vision, leadership and experience as an entrepreneur in the LED sign market, Doug has used his understanding of customer requirements and knowledge of technology to create one of the leading software solutions for the digital signage industry.

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