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November 11, 2016

Big Data in the Big Apple

Big Data isn’t just a tech term any more, it appears in everyday conversations. It’s popping up in headlines from Forbes, Fortune and Bloomberg. We’re thinking about it when we tune into shows like Mr. Robot, Silicon Valley and even Big Bang Theory. So we’re taking a look at where it all began and what it means in America’s largest city.

Big Data

Merriam-Webster defines big data as “an accumulation of data that is too large and complex for processing by traditional database management tools.” According to Forbes Magazine, the term first appeared in 1997 to describe a visualization problem regarding computer graphics, but didn’t begin to take on Merriam-Webster’s official meaning until late 2000s.

Today the term big data has even more implications on our daily lives and can include information about our web behavior, shopping habits and even physical movement. This information then influences a variety of consumer experiences, from advertisements to restaurant hours and menus to security screening at the airport. It’s even having an impact on academic experiences. NPR recently published a story describing how a university is analyzing data made up of course selections, grades and degree progress to help alert advisors when students are falling behind or struggling in their major.

Big data is made up of billions upon billions of single entries that occur every time we send, receive, save or post information digitally.

Big Apple

So, over 8.5 million people live in New York City and each of them has an average of 3.64 devices. Let’s not forget about the visitors! According to the New York Times, 59.7 million people are projected to visit “City That Never Sleeps.” So with residents and visitors, that means potentially over 248 million devices will be used in the city this year alone.

Also, as the second largest financial center, New York City is home to some of the world’s largest commercial banks. These banks are transmitting massive amounts of data every day, from transactions as simple as a payroll deposit to more complex transactions, like international mergers.

A Big Job

Data storage, computing and security needs in New York City are massive and constantly evolving. NYC big data contains both public and private information. It includes payment information, medical records, account numbers and Social Security numbers. It includes information about addresses, driver’s licenses and travel plans.

In addition to the storage space and computing power needed to accommodate the constantly growing volume of data, keeping this information out of cyber criminal’s hands is priority number one for data center providers. Area providers must stay one step ahead of hackers by employing world-class security measures in both their physical and virtual environments, Because the volume of sensitive data concentrated in one geographic location, it becomes a magnet for cyber thieves seeking valuable information to sell on the black market or criminals looking to damage an organization with a breach. It is imperative that data center providers maintain the most up-to-date security and compliance standards.

QTS operated three facilities in the Greater Metro New York Area. Like all QTS data centers, these locations boast a robust portfolio of compliance standards and an industry-leading security strategy. Learn more about how our Seven Layers Defense and our new facility in Piscataway, NJ can help you achieve your business goals.