Big Data… what’s it all about?

I’m still getting my head around the concept of big data, but it’s creating some buzz. From its Wikipedia page

“Big data” is a term applied to data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target, as of 2012 ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single data set.

I quite like Melissa Hardt’s brief and easy to read Govloop blog post summarising big data. In it she refers to the Obama administration’s US$200m “Big Data” Initiative announcement – it ends with a good summary of spending in various departments.

I heard it said that “big data” is a McKinsey term – whether it is or not, they’ve produced a report that scans the data, systems, talent and potential in the US.

The interest point here for me is data visualisation – realtime, moving pictures of systems.. imagine flexible public services with realtime responses to their service environment…