The Four V's of BigData – Variety Veracity Velocity Volume

If we are simply talking about lots of retail data, lots of sales data, lots of management data, lots of metadata, we aren’t talking BigData. Though for some reason, those data are going through and into the new architectures. Yeah, sure the retail, defense, and intelligence worlds have been sifting through huge data stores for years.

But the marketing coined term BigData is not just referring to the Volume of the data. There are 4 V’s of big data . We have been enjoying using as learned through our information exchanges and partnering with IBM.


The first two v’s focus on mission side: Variety and Veracity

Variety (how many categories of data does it cover) includes as well technology (sources, formats (

(e.g. numeric, text, objects, geocoded, vector, raster, structured, unstructured – email, video, audio, etc.), methods) and legal  (complexity, privacy, jurisdiction). Essentially working with various types of data including various dimensions (temporal, geospatial, sentiment, metadata, logs, etc.) and

Veracity (understanding authority of data) includes known data quality, type of data, data management maturity so that you can understand how much you can trust the data is right and accurate

The other focus on the speed and amount: Velocity and Volume

Volume (how much data). – Capturing, Processing, Reporting and managing a large volume of data

Velocity (how often it changes or real-time) – Analyzing and exploiting lots and lots of new data in real-time



Changes to the V’s over the last 15 years

Veracity is the newer one. The concept of data quality has always been the orphaned step-child. It is the I in IT. Its the part of the iceberg under the water. All IT vendors want to sell speed, and handles lots of data, and some commodities of variety support, but once sold, you are on your own (or $300/hour for mission customization). But, we are happy to see IBM got there and added it.

As of late, Value has been introduced as well. Paraphrasing the spanish article, even if you can produce information, is there is no real action that can be done with it, its not Valuable to the organization.

Then again, some have accused IBM of stealing the V’s from 2001 Gartner V’s development . This V-gate controversy :


Nonetheless, if anything it proves that its a concept that is worth fighting over meaning and digging into it, you see it has its merits.