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Affordable technology contributes to big data revolution

Richard Jones Archive

Originally, there was a misconception in the corporate world that "big data" was only for big businesses. Big data requires a lot of resources to gather and use massive amounts of information, including the technology to mine for data and store it, plus talented people to discern actionable conclusions from it all.

For many, storage was seen as the biggest problem. Large companies with immense loads of data at their disposal need entire facilities to collect it all - a room full of servers at the very least, if not an entire building. Smaller companies felt helpless in comparison, like they lacked the resources to keep pace.

Luckily, that problem is dissipating now. ZDNet recently explained this principle - because large-scale data storage is becoming so prevalent, it's now easily affordable and compact. Kelly Kennedy, senior vice president of enterprise sales at Infogroup Targeting Solutions, expects this gradual change to revolutionize marketing.

"You'd be hard-pressed to walk into a Best Buy right now and find a hard drive that stores less than a terabyte," Kennedy pointed out. "Storage is so cheap that it's leveling the playing field for many companies when it comes to big data."

Kennedy noted that in the past, data storage made for a massive portion of companies' big data budgets. In 2013, she said, retailers are spending $2 billion on business intelligence and $9.4 billion on the infrastructure to house it all. For smaller companies to keep up, that massive gap needs to close, and it appears that gradually, it is.

Data storage is becoming easier every day. Hard drives are bigger and more reliable, and cloud solutions also provide companies with flexible ways to manage their information.

The next step is finding a way for all of these companies to ensure data quality. That may ultimately prove to be more difficult.