Big Data IS Big. It's Also Dumb. That's Where You Come In.
by Nancy Rathbun Scott

“Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals to name a few. This data is Big Data.” Thank you, IBM.

Get to the Point: What Does Big Data Mean to Marketers
Mark Myer, blogging at Direct Marketing Observations, put “Figuring Out Big Data” number one on his list of Four Areas that Digital Marketers Need to Focus On. “Mark it down. Big Data is going to be big business. It makes sense though; you have these large organizations collecting terabytes of customer data but not knowing how or what to do with it. Enter the age of Big Data and marketers finally doing something with that data.. IDC predicts that the market for Big Data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015 up from $3.2 billion in 2010.”

So, This Big Data Is for the Big Guys, Right? Wrong. And You Can Test It Now.
Gregg Marshall, president of Vendor-Tech, Inc., says, “You may be thinking to yourself ‘I won’t be doing any Big Data work in my lifetime.’ I think you’ll be surprised.”

To Gregg’s way of thinking, any marketer’s use of Big data is simply a matter of when, so he suggests that you can dip your feet in the water and start experimenting with big data analysis tools right now. “Amazon’s Web Services [AWS] has an on-demand, cloud-based option called Elastic MapReduce that makes [experimenting] possible without making a full investment,” he says.

Amazon boasts that “Elastic MapReduce can instantly provision as much or as little capacity as you like, to perform data-intensive tasks for applications such as web indexing, data mining, log file analysis, data warehousing, machine learning, financial analysis, scientific simulation, and bioinformatics research.”

Razorfish is pretty excited about Elastic MapReduce, too. “”With Amazon Elastic MapReduce, there was no upfront investment in hardware, no hardware procurement delay, and no need to hire additional operations staff. Because of the flexibility of the platform, our first new online advertising campaign experienced a 500% increase in return on ad spend from a similar campaign a year before.”