There's been plenty of discussion lately surrounding Big Data and what it means. By analysts' definition, it means more than just having mounds of terabytes' worth of data sitting around. Big Data not only pertains to volume, but also the growing velocity (how fast it moves through organizations), variety (structured, unstructured) and variability (how much changes) of information.

But alas, Big Data is just a pile of data until organizations do something with it. Loraine Lawson recently provided six “business-changing” ways new tools and methodologies—such as Hadoop and MapReduce—can help put Big Data to work. (Actually, Loraine provides eight, but two are not relevant to insurance.)

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