In Google’s recent earnings call, the question was posed, “If you think of the future of Internet search 3 or 4 years out, how important will the social signal be and how important (will) personalization be?”
Page’s response reveals two insights into how Google is thinking about big data:
Page’s anecdote is a direct reference to Google’s increasing focus on enhancing the search experience by leveraging semantic content.
It provides insight into how Google values the social web: as data – a means to an end; not as an end in and of itself.
What Does Big Data Mean Anyway?
Generally speaking, big data refers to the processing and analysis of large data sets to support better real world decision-making. Here is what makes big data both timely and unique:
Increased data generated by individuals via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Migration of data from local storage to the cloud, where it can be more easily shared and analyzed in aggregate.
A growing acceptance of openness and transparency, resulting in increased access to institutional and organizational data.
Increased potential for analyzing distinct data, resulting from the growing adoption of data standards.
Increased access to infrastructure needed to process large datasets.