Rather than quibbling over definitions at this stage, what we really should be after as IT professionals is understanding and hopefully leveraging what is new. The ability to encompass unstructured data into the business analytics process is new. The ability to converge multiple data sources -- structured and unstructured -- is new. And the ability to produce new types of information in real time is decidedly new and powerful.
Here's why I think that big data is worth the attention. Yes, it has the potential to deliver new types of information to both business users and consumers in real time. Beyond that, however, lies the promise of a style of computing that more closely mimics the functioning of the human mind as it takes in data from many different sources, forming thoughts and making decisions in real time. For IT, that means moving from the provisioning of services to making a big impact on business results.
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