1. Describe the kinds of big data collected by the organizations described in this case.
2. List and describe the business intelligence technologies described in this case.
3. Why did the companies described in this case need to maintain and analyze big data? What business benefits did they obtain?
4. Identify three decisions that were improved by using big data.
5. What kinds of organizations are most likely to need big data management and analytical tools? Why?
Today’s companies are dealing with an avalanche of data from social media, search, and sensors as well as from traditional sources. In 2012, the amount of digital information generated is expected to reach 988 exabytes, which is the equivalent to a stack of books from the sun to the planet Pluto and back. Making sense of “big data” has become one of the primary challenges for corporations of all shapes and sizes, but it also rep-resents new opportunities. How are companies currently taking advantage of big data opportunities? The British Library had to adapt to handle big data. Every year visitors to the British Library Web site perform over 6 billion searches, and the library is also responsible for preserving British Web sites that no longer exist but need to be preserved for historical purposes, such as the Web sites for past politicians. Traditional data management methods proved inadequate to archive millions of these Web pages, and legacy analytics tools couldn’t extract useful knowledge from such quantities of data. So the British Library partnered with IBM to implement a big data solution to these challenges.