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The History of Big Data

From cuneiform, the earliest form of writing, to data centers, the human race as always gathered information. The rise in technology has led to the overflow of data, which constantly requires more sophisticated data storage systems. The recognition of information overload started as early as the 1930s. The boom in the U.S. population, the issuing of social security numbers, and the general growth of knowledge (research) demanded more thorough and organized record-keeping. However, it wasn’t too long before the first flag of warning was raised.

While the growth of knowledge was good for society, it was quickly leading to a storage and retrieval problem for libraries. As information continued to boom in the following decades, organizations began to design, develop, and implement centralized computing systems that would allow them to automate their inventory systems. As these systems began to mature across industries and integrate within enterprises, organizations began to use this data to provide answers and insight that would allow them to make better business decisions i.e., business intelligence.

With business intelligence piling up, the challenge of management and storage quickly surfaced yet again. In order to offer more functionality, digital storage had to become more cost-effective. This lead to the emergence of Business Intelligence (BI) platforms. As BI platforms continue to mature, the data gleaned will enable companies, scientific researchers, medical practitioners, our nation’s defense and intelligence operations, and more to create revolutionary breakthroughs.