Big data is people!
We live in what is sometimes called the ‘petabyte era’, and this pronouncement has provoked much discussion of the sheer size of data stores being created, as well as their rapid growth. Claims circulate along the lines of: ‘Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90 per cent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone.’ This particular statistic comes from IBM’s website under the topic: ‘What is Big Data?’ but similar ones appear regularly in the popular media. The idea has impact. Among other things, it is used to initiate a conversation in which an IBM representative, via a pop-up entreaty, offers big-data services. Merely defining big data, it seems, generates more opportunities for big data.
And the process continues. Ever more urgently in the press, in business and in scholarly journals the question arises of what is unique about big data. Often the definitions are strangely circular. In 2013, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review described big data as ‘a catchall label that describes the new way of understanding the world through the analysis of vast amounts of data’ – a statement that amounts to: big data is big… and it’s made of data. Others talk about its transformational properties. In Wired magazine, the tech evangelist Chris Anderson claimed the ‘end of theory’ had been reached. So much data now exists that it is unnecessary to build a hypothesis to test scientifically. The data can, if properly handled and analysed, ‘speak for themselves’. Many resort to definitions that stress the ‘three Vs’: a data set is ‘big data’ if it qualifies as huge in volume, high in velocity, and diverse in variety. The three Vs occasionally pick up a fourth, veracity, which can be interpreted in a number of ways. At the least, it evokes the striving to capture entire populations, which opens up new frontiers of possibility.
1. circulate /ˈsɝː.kjə.leɪt/ v. 传播，流通，循环
英文释义：to go around or through something, or to make something go around or through something:
2. entreaty /ɪnˈtriː.t̬i/ n. 请求。恳求
英文释义：an attempt to persuade someone to do something
3. hypothesis /haɪˈpɑː.θə.sɪs/ n. 假设
英文释义：an idea or explanation for something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proved
3）扩展：synthesis /ˈsɪn.θə.sɪs/ n. 合成
4. velocity /vəˈlɑː.sə.t̬i/ n. 速度
英文释义：the speed at which an object is travelling
3）扩展：cel- 速度，如accelerate 加速
5. veracity /vɚˈæs.ə.t̬i/ n.真实
英文释义：the quality of being true, honest, or accurate
3）扩展：capacity 容量/verify 核实
1. In 2013, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review described big data as ‘a catchall label that describes the new way of understanding the world through the analysis of vast amounts of data’ – a statement that amounts to: big data is big… and it’s made of data.
2）主句：A writer described big data as ‘a catchall label’
3）定语：that describes the new way of understanding the world through the analysis of vast amounts of data’
5）定语： that amounts to: big data is big…and it’s made of data.
参考翻译：2013年，《哥伦比亚新闻评论》（Columbia Journalism Review）的一位作者将大数据描述为“一个包罗万象的称谓，描述分析大量数据理解世界的新方法”——这个说法相当于：大数据会越变越大……大数据由数据组成。