In the age of internet, big data has just become more commonplace and accessible. And it is growing, fast, and at astronomical rates. Every time we log onto the internet, every time we post on Facebook or Twitter, or purchase something on Amazon or EBay, or just do a Google search, we leave a trail of data. And all this goes into the databases of these websites or companies.
In the bad old days of computing, in the 80s and 90s in particular, many, many software programs were written by developers who excelled at IT, were very nerdy, not commercially minded and got the product finished and out of the door. It usually was shipped to the customer with a massive thick doorstep of a manual that made you feel it could solve any stumbling block you threw at it - except it didn't. Ever.