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Big data and how to use it

 Big data has been a hot topic for quite some time, and yet it is still largely an untapped resource in the telco industry, despite the fact operators are sitting on a mother lode of reliable, accurate user data. Needless to say, they need to get digging.

Big and bigger data

The global volume of data is vast and growing geometrically. IDC indicates that 2.8 zettabytes (2.8 billion terabytes) of data were generated in 2012, and this figure is expected to hit 40ZB in 2020; the big data era is here.

However, big data does not just mean “a lot of ones and zeroes,” it also represents a plethora of data categories, complex data structure, and dynamic data rates. Data sources can include cloud computing, the mobile Internet, smartphones, tablets, personal computers, sensors, and the Internet of Things (IoT); this is leading to overwhelming growth in unstructured data (exceeding 80% of the total volume) that can hardly be processed by traditional databases.

Big Data In Fast Cars

Big Data In Fast Cars — How F1 And NASCAR Compete On Analytics

Velocity is one of the defining characteristics of Big Data, and there are few situations in which speed is more imperative than motorsports. From NASCAR to Formula One and grassroots karting, teams and race organizers are employing ever more sophisticated data-driven strategies to shave split-seconds off lap times and provide a more thrilling spectacle for audiences.

In F1, telemetry has been in use since the 1980s to stream live data from the car to engineers in the pit lane. Thomas Mayer, COO of the Lotus F1 team told me “We are collecting and analyzing a lot of data – we’re not talking gigabytes or terabytes but petabytes.”

Introduction to big data

An introduction to big data from

At, a core piece of our mission is to keep you informed about trends and technologies where open source is making a difference. To help with that, we’ve created a new resource page which brings you up to speed with big data and some of the open source tools which businesses, governments, and organizations of all types are leveraging to make sense of huge quantities of bits and bytes.