Hello humans! I am Big Data

Prof. Manit Mishra

Specialization: Marketing Strategy and General Management


At the outset, let me introduce myself. I am Big Data, progeny of Data, harbinger of information, generator of insight, and facilitator of decision-making. My friend, Google Trends, tells me that I am one of the most searched term on the Internet and the curiosity has only increased in last few years. It is inevitable given the fact that I draw my sustenance from so many different sources – astronomical quantity of data from Astronomy to not-so-socially appropriate data from social media. For example, the quantum of “me” generated in first few weeks by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Telescope in New Mexico, set up in the year 2000, was more than the amount of astronomy data generated since the beginning of time until then. And at the other end of this long list of sources is the virtual you. Every day, you send 500 million tweets on Twitter, you made WhatsApp a behemoth by flooding it with 65 billion messages, you communicate with each other through 294 billion emails, and then you end up on one of the many search engines to collectively conduct 5 billion searches. Somewhere in between are the corporate entities which have now begun to consider data as the new oil. Walmart adds to my repository 1 million transactions every hour. IBM, one of my trusted disciples, estimates that every day you are generating 2.5 quintillion bytes (1018 bytes or 1000 petabytes) of “me” leading to creation in last two years itself, of 90% of all of “me” available. My friend Google believes that you create as much of “me” in two days nowadays as you did from the dawn of civilization until 2003. This tells me how much you adore me.
In order to provide humans with a more understandable perspective about me, Gartner’s Doug Laney built a profile for me. Doug said that I possess the characteristics of high Volume, Velocity, and Variety. Well, couldn’t agree with him more. But later on, someone added one more V to my profile – Veracity. They say that I have low veracity. I do not have anything to say on this, except, caveat emptor. Let the user beware. And let the user also be ethical. Because if the user tortures me long enough, ultimately, I will have to confess to whatever the user wants me to. To draw an analogy, I am no different from nuclear energy. It depends on you, the user, whether you want to build a bomb for destruction out of me or extract energy for preservation.
To borrow a quote from the Hollywood flick John Wick: “I have served. I will be of service.” I am here to stay. And just like our ever-expanding universe, I am only going to grow because for me Big Bang has just begun. At the same time, I must confess that I like it when I am leveraged with full responsibility and reason. That is when I come out with flying colors to give you information and insight about your past, present, as well as future. And if you are prepared, “now begins the quest for knowledge.”-Athato Brahma Jigyasa