IT Looks for New Tools to Exploit 'Big Data'

Companies want to mine terabytes of user- and machine-generated data to glean details about their customers

As tools for real-time and batch analysis of so-called big data emerge, IT operations are gaining the ability to track the activities, habits and movements of customers with great precision.

Experts say many businesses want to better analyze data stored in emerging massively parallel databases like the open-source Apache Hadoop framework to learn where their customers are employed, what they do in off-hours and who they spend time with.

The information could help companies tailor Web-based advertising and marketing materials to specific customers.

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