This era is undoubtedly the age of information, or the data age. Unconsciously, we contribute to the vast data pool all the time, whenever we swipe our phones or use the internet. Lots of data or, big data is a collection of information from digital sources both inside and outside a company. This data can be used as a source, for discovery and performing analysis. The sheer volume of this data is growing exponentially, due to online transactions, and unstructured data from social media websites.
One of the main contributing factors, driving big data, is the growth in mobile data traffic, which grew 81% in 2013. Nearly 25% of internet users were on mobile, and by 2017 half of all mobile users worldwide will use smartphones. The explosively increasing number of videos being posted and viewed online is another indicator for big data, with mobile devices expected to constitute 50% of all online video consumption by 2016.
Nearly a decade ago, it was difficult to store so much data, but now, the current issue is determining the relevancy of data, and using analytics to determine the value. This interpretation of data is critical in big data applications.
To understand the vast landscape of big data, this infographic from Mushroom networks, puts things in perspective:
- From a US$10.2 billion in 2013, big data is projected to become a US$53.4 billion dollar industry by 2017.
- Amazingly, 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone!
- Every minute of the day, 570 new websites are being created.
- The world digital data equals 900 exabyte’s (1 Exabyte=1000 petabytes). 70% of this data is created by individuals.
- US$3.1 trillion a year is the cost borne by the U.S economy due to poor data collection by businesses and governments.
- The U.S. also faces a shortage of at least 190,000 people with analytical skills. A further 1.5 million managers and analysts are needed to use big data to make critical decisions.
- In 2013, one-third of all companies implemented big data initiatives, while two-thirds ran two or more big data projects.
The rise of big data, combined with Internet of things (IoT), will transform our future in unbelievable ways. One such application is in the medical sector, where increased information on diseases is changing the standard medical diagnosis. Medical data can also be collected through various sensors on the users devices. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has reportedly developed bio-metric sensors in the rumored iWatch device, to monitor the wearer’s health.