Big, fast, weird data

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The “Big Data” research that continues to dominate IT agendas has traditionally focused on making sense of the growing volumes of computer data. Yet in recent years, the volume question has given way to the other V’s of Big Data: velocity and variety.

“In the past, we've focused on scale, but over the last few years, the big new problems have been about variety,” says Sam Madden, professor of electrical engineering at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “Big Data is no longer just about processing a huge number of bytes, but doing things with data that you couldn’t do previously. Increasingly, data is coming at you really fast, and it’s much more complex. It’s not just tabular data you can easily stick into a spreadsheet or a database.”

Learn more about Madden's research and the MIT Big Data Initiative at CSAIL: