What is big data? How can it save lives?

Big data analytics is the process of examining large amounts of data of a variety of types (big data) to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations and other useful information. source

The term which has migrated from information technology into more generalised application. The key point about Big Data is that it is
so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications'. It is the introduction of computers powerful enough to 'process' this information which gives the data value.
One of the key by-products of Moore's Law is the exponential growth in data or information recorded by computers. It has been in estimated that in the last two years alone this has doubled in size. 

The scale of this data is beyond human analysis - only massive computer power is capable of processing it. But its potential has been demonstrated by the pioneering work of Google - and it is becoming clear that Big Data has the potential to revolutionise not only commerce but medical science - listen to this BBC discussion.