Big dataUnderneath the earth between the Geneva International airport and the Jura mountains in Switzerland, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider has been firing particles at one another at unbelievable speeds. Among other things, the Large Hadron Collider is responsible for determining the existence (or non-existence) of the Higgs-Boson particle, which could answer countless questions about the nature of our universe. Just recently it emerged that the Higgs experiment produces such vast quantities of data that it could take up to 24 months to analyse it all and generate any useable results. Furthermore, it’s thought that around 99% of the data generated by the Large Hadron Collider is simply discarded, meaning that the 22 petabytes of data the researchers are left with is a mere 1% of the total data being generated!

 

This is all very well for CERN – they’re an enormous intergovernmental concern and can afford as many as 150 datacentres around the globe to help them store and process such vast amounts of information. What about the rest of us? Your research projects and studies are highly unlikely to produce anything like as much data as the experiments at CERN, but there’s still an unprecedented amount of information out there for researchers to wade through and process, and this can cause untold problems for the unprepared…

 

  • Capture – Data is available to researchers in more forms than ever before: in written forms, online, on social networks and as a result of trials or experiments. You’ll need processes and solutions flexible enough to capture all of these different varieties of data.
  • Storage – How are you supposed to keep all of this data? If it’s in a physical form it will take up physical space, but if it’s in a digital form, it will require large amounts of digital memory in order to be kept safely and securely. You need to consider issues like this before undertaking a big-data study.
  • Digitisation – In the middle of your study, you may find yourself lost in a sea of paper forms that need digitising. How are you going to achieve this? Do you have the time, money and resources to handle this alone?
  • Analysis – If you’ve got heaps and heaps of data in numerous varieties and layouts, how are you supposed to analyse and interpret all of that information without spending countless hours in detailed study?
  • Format – Exporting all of that data in a useable format can be a real challenge, too. What format do you need? Do you have the software to process numerous input formats into a single output format?

 

As you can see, big data poses countless problems for any project attempting to grapple with a large amount of information. Believe it or not, we offer data management solutions capable of overcoming each of the stumbling blocks listed above. If you’ve got a research project on the cards, you could find that our research data capture services can help you to generate the results you need. Furthermore, with our project management services you can benefit from our accumulated 50 years of data capture experience to overcome any problems you may face, so why not contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation workshop and see what our services could do for your study?