National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Big Data

Big data is often characterized by its large volume, velocity, and/or variety. As more data are accumulated, the frame for what is considered big data changes. Big data may currently include datasets in the Terabytes (TBs, 1012), Petabytes (PBs, 1015 bytes), or larger in size but current personal computers can handle the processing and/or storage of a TB of data and in the future they may be able to do the same for PBs of data. The velocity is the fast rate in which the data accumulates and the variety is derived from the variety of formats and unstructured condition of the majority of big data.
Philip E. Bourne (2014) would expand this definition to include “the emergence of the digital enterprise – the ability for an organization to take full advantage of its digital assets – which collectively can be described as large amount of data and more.”