If you post the term "Big Data" in your Google search window today, more than 2 billion google search results will appear. If you perform a similar search on Bing, you will see that more than 1,790,000 Big Data links have been added to the Internet in the past 24 hours alone. Clearly, there is big interest in big data.
This graphic by Matt Turck and Shivon Zilis is an exceedingly helpful image for understanding the breadth and complexity of the Big Data landscape. Matt Turck's blogpost also provides great information for understanding some of where this emerging market is taking us.
For those of us working in post-secondary education circles, the emergent interests in big data, analytics, learning analytics and related evidence-based decision-making endeavors have been inspired by possibilities of better experiences, more personalization and better behavioral targeting. Still most education stakeholders who are giving learning analytics some consideration may be surprised to see the depth, breath and sophistication of the big data world. While WCET's work on the PAR Framework has certainly contributed to a growing awareness on the power of predictive analytics for academic risk identification and the value of collaborative, multi-institutional data mining to improve student success, we are mindful that our student success focus touches a relatively narrow, targeted part of the Big Data picture. This graphic offers a more complete picture of the total ecosystem.