What it is: Big data is the term used for datasets that are too large to be handled by conventional databases, like those used for a large retail operation. Big data is booming; as a business and in terms of its sheer mass. By 2009, most business sectors in the U.S. economy had about 200 terabytes of warehoused data for each company with more than 1,000 employees. That’s about double the data storage of Wal-Mart in 1999, according to a report by research firm Mckinsey and Company. Not only is the a huge amount of retail data out there, but consumers also share a large amount of anonymous data online via social networks and through their visits to online publisher’s websites. All of that data around consumer’s purchase, social and Web surfing behavior is of great value to marketers in developing marketing and product strategies. The ad technology industry has developed in large part because of marketer’s need for access to that critical data and a way to integrate the insights derived into marketing strategy and media buying. Big data provides marketers with valuable granular and overall trend insights, as they are able to view behaviors and preferences over time, for millions of consumers. Companies dealing with warehousing, analyzing and distributing big data have been some of the most sought-after investments in the tech space during the past few years.
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