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About Big Data

What is Big Data?

A primer for students who are new to the big data revolution.

Big data is used to describe a vast quantity of data that is so large that it becomes too difficult to manage using traditional technologies. 

Big data is often defined using the three Vs:

  • Volume: The vast amount of data available, which leads to storage and management issues.
  • Velocity: How fast data is being produced and aggregated and how fast the data must be processed to meet demand.
  • Variety: The number of types and sources of data, which can be structured and unstructured and can come from virtually anywhere. 1

Data analytics makes it possible to extract the fourth V: Value.

How Big is Big Data?

1.8 zetabytes of information are created globally in a year, and that amount is expected to double every year. This volume of data is the equivalent of 200 billion two-hour HD movies, which would take one person 47 million years to watch. 2

The Digital Universe

big data growth

View UMUC's big data infographic to learn more about the big data revolution.

Why is Big Data Important?

Great strides have been made in the gathering, storage and security of big data, but the real opportunity is in the data analysis

Its application is virtually limitless, and will shape the world we live in—from the way we interact on a personal level to how businesses and governments evolve.

The increased use of big data in virtually every sector has created a talent gap for data analysts.


1 Source: "Solving 'Big Data' Challenge Involves More Than Just Managing Volumes of Data," Gartner, June 27, 2011.
2 Source: "Demystifying Big Data," TechAmerica Foundation, October 3, 2012.
3 Source: "The Big Picture on Big Data," GovCon Exec, Spring 2012.

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Big Data by the Numbers

Learn about the sources of fast-growing data. Then view the companion big data infographic to explore data analytics careers.

Learn More

Explore data analytics degrees and certificates at UMUC.

Where Does Big Data Come From?

Just as the volume of big data keeps growing, so do the sources. From commercial transactions to social media posts, personal data to weather patterns, nearly all data today is being tracked and recorded. It is up to data analysts to uncover the real potential.

Quick Facts

90%

of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone 3

2.5

quintillion

bytes of data are created every day 3

"The big data revolution has created booming job opportunities, but a talent gap is imminent. UMUC's data analytics program was designed to prepare our students with the edge to succeed in this high-growth industry and take their careers to the next level."

Bahram Meyssami

Business intelligence professor and advisor to UMUC's data analytics programs