Big Data: Issues and Challenges

Introduction

Big Data | M9 Development
To begin a discussion on the issue of Big Data, it is worthwhile to first define the term “Big Data”.  According to [1], Big Data is defined as “technologies and initiatives that involve data that is too diverse, fast-changing or massive for conventional technologies, skills and infrastructure to address efficiently”.  This serves as a good definition as it enumerates the key issues in dealing with Big Data, namely, data that exhibits the following characteristics: it is fast-changing and/or massive, it does not fit into conventional data storage systems (i.e. relational database system) and is generated and captured rapidly [1].  While I believe this definition to be an accurate perception of Big Data in the scientific and business communities, it is worth noting that Big Data as a discipline is still in it’s infancy and thus open to different interpretations.  A quick study on the etymology of the word Big Data provides great insight into this (see [2]).  To further our understanding of Big Data, we will take a look at each of the main characteristics of Big Data as previously defined and discuss some of the primary issues that they introduce. Continue reading