By Peter Hoffman, Senior Sales Engineer

Big data has traditionally been viewed as a preserve of the IT department, but with the widespread adoption of cloud technologies, big data is moving into the boardroom and helping companies evolve from siloed, transaction-oriented systems (ERP, etc.) to more integrated and socially-aware ones.

There is a significant unpredictability in the volume, format and velocity of big data. Traditional relational databases are increasingly unable to manage growing data, preventing organizations from effectively storing, analyzing and gaining actionable insight from that data.

Some sources of this new data include:

  • Social media feeds (e.g. Facebook users have uploaded 250 billion photos)
  • Customer reviews (e.g. Amazon customer reviews)
  • The Internet of things (e.g. machine to machine transactions that transmit data without human intervention such as RFID tags or other geo-location devices).

Mary Meeker published her updated Internet Trends presentation at the D11 conference on May 29, 2013. The statistics given on the explosive growth of data of all types from all sources underline the importance for companies to harness the opportunities that this information presents.

To make the most of this opportunity, companies must be able to:

  1. Efficiently aggregate the data
  2. Extract important data in order to understand the state of the business
  3. Quickly identify customer trends, and
  4. Define subsequent actions

The world of retail is no different.

In our follow up blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what big data means to retail and how Demandware’s technology enhances and leverages big data to enrich the consumer experience.