Sql Excel : What Is Big Data?

Big data is one of those concepts whose definition changes over time. In the
1800s, when statistics was first being invented, researchers worked with dozens or
hundreds of rows of data. That might not seem like a lot, but if you have to add
everything up with a pencil and paper, and do long division by hand or using a
slide rule, then it certainly seems like a lot of data.
The concept of big data has always been relative, at least since data processing was
invented. The difference is that now data is measured in gigabytes and terabytes—
enough bytes to fit the text in all the books in the Library of Congress—and we can
readily carry it around with us. The good news is that analyzing “big data” no
longer requires trying to get data to fit into very limited amounts of memory. The
bad news is that simply scrolling through “big data” is not sufficient to really
understand it.
This book does not attempt to define “big data.” Relational databases definitely
scale well into the tens of terabytes of data—big by anyone s definition. They also
work efficiently on smaller datasets, such as the ones accompanying this book.