Big data properties

“Big data is the term for a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications” -Wikipedia




Just pick up some examples from above picture, 2,000,000 search queries/m processed by google, 684,478 peices of content shared by users of facebook per minute and 3,600 new photos share on Instagram per minute. Data volume increases 44 times from 2009 to 2020 (0.8 zettabytes to 35 zettabytes, gigabytes-terabytes-petabytes-exabytes-zettabytes). The capacity of data is so huge and this is the literal explanation of Big Data. (Spencer.S., 2012)

The information is exploding. The capabilities of digital device is getting more and more advanced, but the price is going down. Between 1990 and 2005, more than one billion people worldwide has entered the middle class. As they are getting richer, they touch more with digital world. There are 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and more people have not only one mobile phone. This is the source of data explosion. (The Economist, 2010)

The types of data are variable, for example relational data like transaction and electronic health records, text data like document, semi-structured data like XML, wikipedia and amazon, graph data from social networks and disease networks, etc.

Because of the properties of volume and variety of big data, traditional database management system can work well. NoSQL arises.

Data is also generated very quickly and needs to be processed quickly. Opportunity can be missed due to late decisions. Real time analysis is necessary, for example, the marketing effectiveness of a promotion is improved while it is still in play, and analyzing the feedback of product experience from users in real time can improve the product performance and companies can seize advantages over competitors.



Spencer.N. (2012) How Much Data is Created Every Minute?, from:

The Economist. (2010) Data, data everywhere, from:

Jacobs, A. (6 July 2009). “The Pathologies of Big Data”, from:


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