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Big data has big possibilities: Microsoft

Big data has big possibilities: Microsoft

Software giant sees big data being more about volume than sheer size

Big data transformation is going to have a revolutionary impact on businesses, according to Microsoft Technical Fellow, David Campbell.

Campbell made the statement during his keynote presentation at Microsoft’s Big Data Symposium in Sydney, where the vendor was also demonstrating the 2012 instalment of its SQL Server line.

The revolution is already happening in businesses “day by day, week by week,” and Campbell has seen an increasing number of people who have decided to harness the potential of big data are now “realising new value.”

“Big data is not just about big but also about volume,” he said.

“If it's greater than 10 petabytes then it's really big, and other analysts have that opinion as well.”

Social networks are also playing a big part in the big data equation.

“One could argue that Google found a way to build a graph over Web pages and then turned that into value,” Campbell said.

“Facebook found a way to build a graph over people and then turned into value.”

The other important point that Campbell wanted to stress about big data was the new ways of looking at data in new forms, which encompasses any data of any size that is anywhere in non-traditional forms.

“In many cases it’s about taking unstructured data, and through a process that I've referred to as ‘information production’ and turn it into data that can more naturally be consumed by the existing tools,” he said.

According to Campbell, the data platform approach that Microsoft uses is one that is mindful of “any data, any size, anywhere”.

“Microsoft internally calls it ‘eating your own dog food', so we run the business on our software before we ship it," he says.

To help tackle big data head-on, Campbell assures that Microsoft’s approach has been and will continue to be “working with partners to deliver great solutions”.

In particular, he highlighted the “verticalisation” of the industry and the degree of choice that is now available.

“We're working with a number of vendors so that you have a degree of choice but still get the value of having an engineered system there as well,” Campbell said.


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