DEAR JOYCE: My son told me that I should become familiar with “big data.” He says the term describes a new trend in getting hired. Is he right? What is big data? What should I know about it? — R.M.N.
“Big data” is current jargon for the data mining of mountains of available information. Most of the collected data is online or in databanks. The concept has existed for several decades, but it has hit with a burst of headlines during the past couple of years. Even so, big data professionals don’t agree on what it is and what it isn’t.