Big Data: Does Size Matter?

Big Data: Does Size Matter?

Timandra Harkness

Bloomsbury Press

175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010

9781472920058 $27.00

Big Data: Does Size Matter? is expressly for readers of all

backgrounds--no advanced mathematical or computer science knowledge is

required to learn from this straight-talk introduction to what "big

data" really What is MDM? is, and what it means both for individual people and

society at large. Broadcaster and comedian Timandra Harkness reveals how

Big Data enables greater efficiency than ever before possible, from

predicting crimes to tailoring advertisements. But can big data grow so

large as to infringe on individual rights, or even undermine a

democratic society? "Many people have pointed to the hypocrisy of

governments who want us to acquiesce to mass surveillance while trying

to reduce their own accountability through Freedom of Information acts

and the like. If we are to be watched and eavesdropped upon by the

state, should we not by default be able to access data collected about

us, or about the activities of the authorities themselves?" A

thoughtful, reader-friendly assessment of an ongoing, revolutionary

change, Big Data: Does Size Matter? is highly recommended especially for

public and college library collections.

COPYRIGHT 2016 Midwest Book Review

No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

How to Do Big Data on a Budget?

To really make the most of big data, most businesses need to invest in some tools or services - software, hardware, maybe even new staff - and there's no doubt that the costs can add up. The good news is that big data doesn't have to cost the Earth and a small budget needn't prevent companies from stepping into the world of big data. Here are some tips and ideas to help keep costs down:

Think about your business objectives

Too many businesses focus on collecting as much data as possible which, in my view, misses the whole point of big data. The objective should be to focus on the data that helps you achieve your strategic objectives. The whole point of big data should be to learn something from your data, take action based on what you've learned and grow your business as a result. Limiting the scope of your data projects so they tightly match your business goals should help keep costs down, as you can focus only on the data you really need.


Make use of the resources you already have

Before you splash out on any new technology, it's worth looking at what you're already using in your business. Some of your existing infrastructure could have a role to play. Go through each of the four key infrastructure elements (data sources, data storage, data analysis and data output) and note what related technology or skills you already have in-house that could prove useful. For example, you may already be collecting useful customer data through your website or customer service department. Or you very likely have a wealth of financial and sales data that could provide insights. Just be aware that you may already have some very useful data that could help you achieve your business objectives, saving you time and money.

Look for savings on software

Open source (free) software, like Hadoop, exists for most of the essential big data tasks. And distributed storage systems are designed to run on cheap, off-the-shelf hardware. The popularity of Hadoop has really opened big data up to the masses - it allows anyone to use cheap off-the-shelf hardware and open source software to analyse data, providing they invest time in learning how. That's the trade-off: it will take some time and technical skill to get free software set up and working the way you want. So unless you have the expertise (or are willing to spend time developing it) it might be worth paying for professional technical help, or 'enterprise' versions of the software. These are generally customised versions of the free packages, designed to be easier to use, or specifically targeted at various industries.

Take advantage of big data as a service (BDaaS)

In the last few years many businesses have sprung up offering cloud-based big data services to help other companies and organisations solve their data dilemmas. This makes big data a possibility for even the smallest company, allowing them to harness external resources and skills very easily. At the moment, BDaaS is a somewhat vague term often used to describe a wide variety of outsourcing of various big data functions to the cloud. This can range from the supply of data, to the supply of analytical tools which interrogate the data (often through a web dashboard or control panel) to carrying out the actual analysis and providing reports. Some BDaaS providers also include consulting and advisory services within their BDaaS packages.

BDaaS removes many of the hurdles associated with implementing a big data strategy and vastly lowers the barrier of entry. When you use BDaaS, all of the techy 'nuts and bolts' are, in theory, out of sight and out of mind, leaving you free to concentrate on business issues. BDaaS providers generally take this on for the customer - they have everything set up and ready to go - and you simply rent the use of their cloud-based storage and analytics engines and pay either for the time you use them or the amount of data crunched. Another great advantage is that BDaaS providers often take on the cost of compliance and data protection - something which can be a real burden for small businesses. When the data is stored on the BDaaS provider's servers, they are (generally) responsible for it.

It's not just new BDaaS companies which are getting in on the act; some of the big corporations like IBM and HP are also offering their own versions of BDaaS. HP have made their big data analytics platform, Haven, available entirely through the cloud. This means that everything from storage to analytics and reporting is handled on HP systems which are leased to the customer via a monthly subscription - entirely eliminating infrastructure costs. And IBM's Analytics for Twitter service provides businesses with access to data and analytics on Twitter's 500 million tweets per day and 280 million monthly active users. The service provides analytical tools and applications for making sense of that messy, unstructured data and has trained 4,000 consultants to help businesses put plans into action to profit from them.

As more and more companies realise the value of big data, more services will emerge to support them. And competition between suppliers should help keep subscription prices low, which is another advantage for those on a tight budget. I've already seen that BDaaS is making big data projects viable for many businesses that previously would have considered them out of reach - and I think it's something we'll see and hear a lot more about in the near future.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes, and on almost any budget, can still make use of big data. My new book Big Data for Small Business For Dummies is packed with ideas and information on how to get started with big data, along with real-life examples from a wide range of sectors.

This Blogger's Books and Other Items from...


what does it mean BIG DATA ?

Big data is a broad term for data sets so large or complex that traditional data processing applications are inadequate. Challenges include analysis, capture, data curation, search, sharing, storage, transfer, visualization, and information privacy. The term often refers simply to the use of predictive analytics or other certain advanced methods to extract value from data, and seldom to a particular size of data set. Accuracy in big data may lead to more confident decision making. And better decisions can mean greater operational efficiency, cost reduction and reduced risk.

Relational database management systems and desktop statistics and visualization packages often have difficulty handling big data. The work instead requires "massively parallel software running on tens, hundreds, or even thousands of servers". What is considered "big data" varies depending on the capabilities of the users and their tools, and expanding capabilities make big data a moving target. Thus, what is considered "big" one year becomes ordinary later. "For some organizations, facing hundreds of gigabytes of data for the first time may trigger a need to reconsider data management options. For others, it may take tens or hundreds of terabytes before data size becomes a significant consideration."

I found this really well written article, hope it helps


Woman charged over failed Paris attack: prosecutors

Woman charged over failed jihadist Paris attack

Paris (AFP) - French anti-terror judges charged a woman Saturday over a failed jihadist attack near Paris's Notre Dame cathedral, where a car full of gas canisters was found last weekend.

The mother of three, named as 29-year-old Ornella G., is one of several women detained in the past week on suspicion of planning new attacks in France, a country on high alert after a string of jihadist assaults in the past 18 months.

According to investigators, her fingerprints were found in the Peugeot car that was abandoned last Sunday a few hundred metres from Notre Dame in an area thronging with tourists.

The car contained five gas cylinders, three bottles of diesel and a lit cigarette.

Ornella G. was remanded in custody after being charged with association with a terrorist group and attempted murder by an organised group, prosecutors said.

Known to authorities for previously planning to go to Syria, she was arrested in southern France on Tuesday with her boyfriend, who has since been released.

Three other women, named as 19-year-old Ines Madani, 23-year-old Sarah H. and Amel S., 39, were detained on Thursday before they could carry out an attack, investigators said.

The trio were looking at train stations in Paris and south of the capital as potential targets, as well as the police, according to sources close to the investigation.

Madani, the daughter of the car's owner, had allegedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. She was also known to authorities for seeking to travel to Syria.

Ornella G. told police that she and Madani tried to set the car alight but "fled when they saw a man they believed to be a plain-clothes policeman."

- Jihadist fiancee -

Investigators are seeking to determine whether Sarah H. was with the pair at the time.

She was the fiancee of Larossi Abballa, a jihadist who knifed to death a senior policeman and his partner at their home in a Paris suburb in June before himself being shot dead.

Sarah H. had since become engaged to Adel Kermiche, one of two jihadists who killed an elderly priest in July near the northern city of Rouen and was subsequently killed by police.

Anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said Friday that the women were inspired by IS, which has called on its followers to attack France in revenge for air strikes on the group's bases in Syria and Iraq.

"A terrorist cell made up of young women totally receptive to the deadly ideology of Daesh has been dismantled," Molins said at a news conference, using another name for IS.

The extremist group claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks in November that killed 130 people, among a series of recent assaults attributed to its followers including the Nice truck attack.

Security is a hot issue in early campaigning for next year's presidential elections.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that police had arrested 293 people this year for "links to terrorist networks."

"This amounts to networks that have been dismantled and attacks that have been prevented," Cazeneuve said, giving no further details about the arrests.

"We are involved in an extremely intense, round-the-clock mission to protect the French public, and we are getting results," Cazeneuve said.

He added that 17 foreigners had been expelled this year for posing a "serious threat to public order."

The latest was a Russian national, Mansur Kudusov, who was extradited to Russia on Friday after being jailed What is Master Data Management? for breaching house arrest.

Kudusov's lawyer said he was a Chechen born in 1991 who had arrived in France as a child and had been placed under house arrest in 2012.


What is EDI (Electronic Data Integration) ? what is current market trend ?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is the computer-to-computer exchange of structured information, by agreed message standards, from one computer application to another by electronic means and with a minimum of human intervention. In common usage, EDI is understood to mean specific interchange methods agreed upon by national or international standards bodies for the transfer of business transaction data, with one typical application being the automated purchase of goods and services.

Despite being relatively unheralded, in this era of technologies such as XML services, the Internet and the World Wide Web, EDI is still the data format used by the vast majority of electronic commerce transactions in the world.


The EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) standards were designed from the beginning to be independent of lower level technologies and can be transmitted using Internet protocols as well as private networks. It is important to differentiate between the EDI documents and the methods for transmitting them. While comparing the bisynchronous 2400 bit/s modems and value-added network to the Internet some people predicted erroneously that EDI would be replaced. These older transmission methods are being replaced by Internet Protocols such as FTP, telnet and email, although standards for these media are still emerging. In 2002, the IETF published RFC 3335, offering a standardized, secure method of transferring EDI data via e-mail. On July 12th, 2005, an IETF working group ratified RFC4130 for MIME-based HTTP EDIINT (aka. AS2) transfers, and is preparing similar documents for FTP transfers (aka. AS3) ( The EDI documents themselves, as well as the traditional EDI service providers (value-added networks), remain active.

EDI documents contain the same data that would normally be found in a paper document used for the same organizational function. For example an EDI 940 ship-from-warehouse order is used by a manufacturer to tell a warehouse to ship product to a retailer. It typically has a ship to address, bill to address, a list of product numbers (usually a UPC code) and quantities. It may have other information if the parties agree to include it. However, EDI is not confined to just business data related to trade but encompasses all fields such as medicine (patient records, laboratory results..), transport (container and modal information...), engineering and construction, etc.

There are two major sets of EDI standards. UN/EDIFACT is the only international standard (in fact, a United Nations recommendation) and is predominant in all areas outside of North America. ANSI ASC X12 (X12) is popular in North America and used worldwide.

These standards prescribe the formats, character sets, and data elements used in the exchange of documents and forms, such as purchase orders (called "ORDERS" in UN/EDIFACT and an "850" in X12) and invoices.

The standard says which pieces of information are mandatory for a particular document, which pieces are optional and give the rules for the structure of the document. The standards are like building codes. Just as two kitchens can be built "to code" but look completely different, two EDI documents can follow the same standard and contain different sets of information. For example a food company may indicate a particular product expiration date while a clothing manufacturer would choose to send color and size information.

Organizations that send or receive documents from each other are referred to as "trading partners" in EDI terminology. The trading partners agree on the specific information to be transmitted and how it should be used. This is done in human readable specifications (also called specs or spec sheets). While the standards are analogous to building codes, the specifications are analogous to blue prints. (The specification may also be called a mapping but the term mapping is typically reserved for specific machine readable instructions given to the translation software.) Larger companies have existing specification sheets and are usually unwilling to negotiate. Often in a large company these sheets will be written to be used by different branches or divisions and therefore will contain information not needed for a particular exchange. (Deviations from and clarification to the specification sheets should always be obtained in writing.)

Service providers provide global platforms (also known as trading grids) to connect and integrate "business partners" around the world. They provide integration platforms that make the exchange of EDI (or XML) documents transparent and easy between diverse constituents. These providers will track and reconcile documents to reduce errors and improve supply chain performance.

Interpreting data

Often missing from the specifications are real world descriptions of how the data should be interpreted. This is particularly important when specifying quantity. For example, suppose candy is packaged in a large box that contains 5 display boxes and each display box contains 24 boxes of candy packaged for the consumer. If an EDI document says to ship 10 boxes of candy it may not be clear whether to ship 10 consumer packaged boxes, 240 consumer packaged boxes or 1200 consumer packaged boxes. It is not enough for two parties to agree to use a particular qualifier indicating case, pack, box or each; they must also agree on what that particular qualifier means.

EDI translation software provides the interface between the internal system and the common standards. For an "inbound" document it typically takes the variable length fields of the EDI document, translates the individual pieces of data and then creates a file of fixed length fields. For an "outbound" document the translation software queries the internal system, as in the case of an SQL database, or it translates a fixed width file exported by the internal software. Translation software may also utilize other methods or file formats. The mechanism of translation is not part of the standard.

(In EDI terminology "inbound" and "outbound" refer to the direction of transmission of an EDI document in relation to a particular system, not the direction of merchandise, money or other things represented by the document. For example, an EDI document that tells a warehouse to perform an outbound shipment is an inbound document in relation to the warehouse computer system. It is an outbound document in relation to the manufacturer or dealer that transmitted the document.)

Advantages vs. Disadvantages of using EDI


There are several advantages of using EDI all of which provide distinct benefits to the sharepoint 2010 enterprise search user. One of the most notable benefits to using EDI is the time-saving capability it provides. By eliminating the process of distributing hard copies of information throughout the company, easy access to electronic data simplifies inter-department communication. Also, another time-savings advantage is the ability to track the origin of all information therefore significantly reducing time spent on corresponding with the source of the information.

Another benefit for the user of this information system is the ultimate savings in costs for the company. Although the initial set-up costs may seem high, the overall savings received in the long run ensures its value. For any business, regardless of its size, hard-copy print outs and document shipping costs add up. EDI allows for a paper-less exchange of information reducing handling costs and worker productivity that is involved with the organization of paper documents.

Electronic data interchange has another strong advantage over paper-based information exchange which has to do with accuracy of information. When the information is already stored electronically, it speeds up an organization's ability to check for accuracy and make any necessary corrections as the data is already inputted in the system. Also, unlike paper-based methods, EDI allows for the ability to send and receive information at any time thereby tremendously improving an organization's ability to communicate quickly and efficiently.


There are a few barriers to using electronic data interchange. One of the most significant barriers is the accompanying process change. Existing processes built around slow paper handling may not be suited for EDI. For example, a business may receive the bulk of their goods by 1 or 2 day shipping and all of their invoices by mail. The existing process may therefore assume that goods are typically received before the invoice. With EDI, the invoice will typically be sent when the goods ship and will therefore require a process that handles large numbers of invoices whose corresponding goods have not yet been received.

Another significant barrier is the initial set-up. The preliminary expenses and time that arise from the implementation, customization and training can be costly and therefore may discourage some users.


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