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Big Data Developers


Data has been collected since the dawn of time. In 3800 BCE, the Babylonian Empire conducted the first known census, which counted things like livestock and quantities of honey, milk, wool, butter, and vegetables. The Population Reference Bureau reports that “China’s Han Dynasty records the oldest surviving census data, showing a population of 57.7 million people living in 12.4 million households.” The first census in the United States was conducted in 1790 by enumerators (census takers) on horseback. The census took 18 months to complete, and the results were used to establish the size of the House of Representatives.

The development of computers in the 1950s and 1960s vastly increased the amount of data that could be gathered and the types of analytical studies that could be conducted on data. In each ensuing decade, computing power and the number and effectiveness of data analytics tools grew. The Association of Computing’s Special Interest Group on Management of Data was founded in 1976 to represent professionals in the growing field of data management and science.

The first documented use of the term “big data” appeared in a 1997 paper by scientists at NASA. Around 2008, American scientists began using the phrase “big data computing” when discussing the use of computers to collect and manage data.

Today, data is collected via the Internet and social media, through sensors and surveillance cameras, and via many other methods. Revenue from the sale of Big Data and business analytics applications, tools, and services is expected to grow by 13.2 percent between 2018 and 2022, according to market research firm IDC. Revenue will exceed $274.3 billion by 2022. “Ninety percent of business leaders cite data as one of the key resources and a fundamental differentiator for businesses, on par with basic resources like land, labor, and capital,” according to What’s the Big Deal With Data? a publication of BSA | The Software Alliance.

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