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Understanding 'Big Data' and What It Means to Your Business There is a lot of information out there and it just keeps growing. Here are the basics of working with big data.

By Mikal E. Belicove

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Q: What is "big data," and how can my small business take advantage of it?

A: The massive volume, variety and velocity of information moving through the world now falls under the phrase big data. How big is big? Wrap your mind around this nugget from IBM: Ninety percent of the data available in the world today was created in just the past two years.

The reason data got so big is that machines became involved, silently collecting information--2.5 quintillion bytes per day--from smartphones, automobile sensors and every click and keystroke made on a computer or web server. What to do with this information--how to slice and dice it into sensible and actionable reports--has quickly become a booming subset of the tech world as startups develop programs to enable companies of any size to take control of what they've got stored in their various databases.

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