How much big data is gathering out there in the universe? The numbers will astound you.
In my last post, I introduced the concept of big data (for those of you who weren’t already familiar) and how it’s already changing the way the world does business today. But, to really understand where your company stands in the wake of the big data revolution, you need to know how much big data is out there now, who is using it to their advantage, and how fast it’s going to grow in the future.
How big is big data going to get?
According to the October 2011 McKinsey Quarterly article, Are you ready for the era of big data?, US companies with 1,000 or more employees have, on average, at least 200TB of data. To put that in perspective, 200TB of data is the size of all the digital assets in the Library of Congress today. When you think about how many of those companies are out there, the numbers add up quick. As a recent Gartner/Century Link study reports, “Enterprises are responsible or liable for 85% of all digital assets in existence. Roughly 1.8 ZB (zettabytes) in 2011 alone.” At this pace, the big data universe will grow to an unprecedented 7.9 ZB by 2015.
Information overload: Big data growth through 2015
Is all this data just being stored and ignored?
According to a recently released EMC study, only about 1/3 of all companies are turning their big data into usable information that can potentially help their business, while the rest of the data is just taking up space on storage servers. That means that companies which are ready to put big data management systems and analysts in place to start utilizing their data for business intelligence are the ones who will gain the competitive advantages in their industries moving forward.
What industries could benefit from big data the most?
Companies in virtually any industry could benefit from making sense of their big data, but there are a few industries that the McKinsey Quarterly highlights as standing out.
- Retail – By combining data feeds on inventory, transactional records, social media and online trends, retailers can make real-time decisions around product and inventory mix adjustments, marketing and promotions, pricing or product quality issues.
- Financial Services – By combining data across various groups and services like financial markets, money manager and lending, financial services companies can gain a comprehensive view of their individual customers and markets.
- Government – By collecting and analyzing data across agencies, location and employee groups, the government can reduce redundancies, identify productivity gaps, pinpoint consumer issues and find procurement savings across agencies.
- Healthcare – Big data in healthcare could be used help improve hospital operations, provide better tracking of procedural outcomes, help accelerate research and grow knowledge bases more rapidly. According to a 2011 Cleveland Clinic study, leveraging big data is estimated to drive $300B in annual value through an 8% systematic cost savings.
Are you ready for the big data revolution?
We invite you to leave your comments and insights below.