Big data is all around. It is an abundant, expanding resource emerging from the modern data landscape. The Internet of Things (IoT), mobile technology, social media, web and open data contribute to the proliferation of data. Worldwide data is expected to increase tenfold by 2025—reaching a total of 163 ZB. Data Center Journal brought this news to us in their article, “If Big Data is the New Crude, Data Virtualization is the New Refinery.”

As with any natural resource, “crude” data must be refined before it can be harnessed for productive purposes, such as equipment maintenance, product innovation, competitive intelligence, marketing, data monetization and active health care.

The refinement process can incorporate data exploration, preparation, correlation and contextualization, labeling and annotating, unification and integration, and application of security and governance policies. Metadata is an important component, as it serves a role in both the input and output stages of the overall data refinement process.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.