Big Data: Don’t Just Take My Word For It

Sujal Patel

Sujal Patel

President, Isilon

Big Data comes with big promises. Take personalized medicine, for instance. Within a year, the costs of full human genome sequencing will likely drop to about $1,000, which will eventually lead to a dramatic improvement in individual healthcare. Adding each of our unique individual DNA “signatures” to millions of others in a universally available information resource — a Big Data repository if there ever was one — will soon make real the “era of personalized medicine” which we’ve all heard so much about.

Yes, there have been a lot of promises made about Big Data. But as the above example illustrates, Big Data has the real potential to impact businesses, organizations, individuals, and culture profoundly.

But don’t just take my word for it.

Take the New York Times, for starters. In “The Age of Big Data,” Steve Lohr writes that “there seems to be no turning back. Data is in the driver’s seat. It’s there, it’s useful and it’s valuable.”

Or you might consider what the World Economic Forum has to offer. A WEF report, “Big Data, Big Impact: New Possibilities for International Development,” presented at this year’s conference of global leaders, says that researchers and policymakers “are beginning to realize the potential for channeling these torrents of data into actionable information that can be used to identify needs and provide services for the benefit of low-income populations.”

McKinsey Global Institute has a few words to say about Big Data too. In its May 2011 report, “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity,” the research firm predicts that Big Data “will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation, and consumer surplus.”

Finally, a few more words to consider, from CIO.com: “But while awareness of Big Data is growing, only a few organizations… are really in position to capitalize on it now.” The article states that organizations hoping to leverage Big Data “need the infrastructure to help them make sense of the data.”

Speaking of infrastructure, EMC has built an end-to-end infrastructure to support all aspects of Big Data in the enterprise, from storage (EMC Isilon scale-out NAS storage and EMC Atmos Cloud Storage) to data warehousing and analytics (EMC Greenplum) to actionable insights (EMC Documentum xCP).

To get some ideas of how EMC can help you manage Big Data, check out the real-world Big Data use cases on our website. In other words, don’t just take my word for it.

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