It used to be only for scientists, Internet giants and the mega-social-media set -- Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, Shutterfly. But now, more and more enterprises of all kinds are aiming to gain a competitive edge by tapping into big data in hopes of unearthing the valuable information it can hold. Today, companies such as Walmart, Campbell Soup, Pfizer, Merck and convenience store chain Wawa have big plans for their big data.
Some are venturing into big data analytics to respond to customers faster, keep better track of customer information or get new products to market quicker.
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"Any business in this Internet Age, if they don't do it, their competition is going to do it," says Ashish Nadkarni, a storage analyst at IDC.