According to a recent Forrester blog companies utilize less than 5% of the available data because it is too expensive to deal with. Enter the notion of Big Data. Big Data lets companies dip into the other 95%. In Forresters' CIO document on big data, they define it as: techniques and technologies that make handling data at extreme scale affordable.
However, this mountain of data is unstructured: email, clickstream data, photos, web logs and most data solutions are not designed to handle it. Enter Hadoop, your first line of defense against mountains of unstructured data. Read more on Barton Georges' blog Big data is the new cloud and weigh in.