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Five Things CIOs Should Know About Big Data

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You may not think you have petabytes of data worth analyzing, but you will, if you don't already. CIO magazine breaks down the 5 things CIOs need to know, now.

#1 You will need to think about big data.

Big data analysis got its start from the large Web service providers such as Google, Yahoo and Twitter, which all needed to make the most of their user generated data. But enterprises will big data analysis to stay competitive, and relevant, as well.

You could be a really small company and have a lot of data. A small hedge fund may have terabytes of data, said Jo Maitland, GigaOm research director for big data. In the next couple of years, a wide number of industries--including health care, public sector, retail, and manufacturing--will all financially benefit by analyzing more of their data, consulting firm McKinsey and Company anticipated in a recent report.

There is an air of inevitability with Hadoop and big data implementations, said Eric Baldeschwieler, chief technology officer of Hortonworks, a Yahoo spinoff company that offers a Hadoop distribution. It's applicable to a huge variety of customers. Collecting and analyzing transactional data will give organizations more insight into their customers' preferences. It can be used to better inform the creation of new products and services, and allow organizations to remedy emerging problems more quickly.

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