Sunday, 6 March 2011

Big data versus Great data

JISC has commissioned a long report on the latest Strata (Big data) conference

Big Data is certainly Big Business, but there's also value in Great Data. 

Take Facebook. The most valuable aspect of Facebook's data is the social graph, not all the gossip and pictures users have posted to date (okay, there's value in that too, but the graph is the key). The graph isn't so big. They say they have 500M active users. Let's allow 10 kilobytes per user to store their name, email, and friend list. That's only 5 terabytes. Conclusion: the most valuable dataset in the world fits on a (high-end) desktop computer. 

I believe in Great Data: information that's highly useful even if not voluminous. And Great Data that is not voluminous is even better than Big Great Data. xEvents is a Small Great Data project. 

Copyright David Bourget and University of London, 2011. This blog's content is license under the Attribution-ShareAlike license.