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August 2013, Volume 1, Number 4

Big data systems shine light on neglected 'dark data'

The notion of "dark data" lurking in the shadows of IT systems has been around for years. But with the increasing adoption of Hadoop and other highly scalable big data technologies, more of that data is poised to come out into the open. Consulting company Gartner Inc. marks dark data as "information assets that organizations collect, process and store in the course of their regular business activity, but generally fail to use for other purposes." Now, the ability of Hadoop clusters and NoSQL databases to process large volumes of data makes it more feasible to incorporate such long-neglected information into big data analytics applications -- and unlock its business value. As a result, archived data that was "just lying around" has become a potential goldmine for organizations, not simply an untapped pool of information they were obliged to keep for regulatory compliance purposes, said Aashish Chandra, divisional vice president of application modernization at Sears Holdings Corp. in Hoffman Estates, Ill. "This is a different ...

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