While the Library of Alexandria was once believed to contain the sum of human knowledge around the third century B.C.E, it is now near impossible to quantify and increasingly difficult to store the volume of data generated by humans as a result of the advent of digital technologies and societies.
Big data: early years and foundational pieces An early mention of the upcoming “Industrial Revolution of data” can be found in a blog by Joe Hellerstein, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. It was published in November 2008, a few months after Wired had claimed that ‘data deluge’ would signify “the end of theory” and make the … Read More
What is big data, and could it transform development policy? Emmanuel Letouzé takes a close look at this emerging field. In just a few years ‘big data’ have affected industries and activities from marketing and advertising to intelligence gathering and law enforcement, stirring much excitement and scepticism. With policymaking increasingly looking like big data’s next frontier, is this phenomenon — … Read More
Unit Size What it means Bit (b) 1 or 0 Short for “binary digit”, after the binary code (1 or 0) computers use to store and process data—including text, numbers, images, videos, etc. Byte (B) 8 bits Enough information to create a number or an English letter in computer code. It is the basic unit of computing. Kilobyte (KB) 1,000, … Read More