What is Big Data?

You see and hear the term Big Data everywhere but what does that actually mean? Let's start with a simple definition. You can make an argument that the current and modern Big Data era was ushered in with the introduction of the MapReduce model in this famous white paper by Google®. The first sentence of the paper’s abstract provides a defining characteristic of Big Data:


MapReduce is a programming model and an associated implementation for processing and generating large data sets.

What is Data Science?

We call ourselves a data science consulting company. But what exactly is data science? This question turns out to be more multifaceted than it might first appear? The easy answer is to just read off the two terms and associate in your head some long-held definition. Most people think of data as a collection of information to be processed in some way.  And most people think of science as a systemized collection of knowledge or a maybe a process for attaining that systemized knowledge.  Both definitions give a good starting point for thinking about data science.