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.