Scientists and businesses often encounter difficulties in analysing huge data sets, otherwise known as “Big Data”. Its size is forever changing across many landscapes, with the amount of data created each day constantly increasing – now four times faster than the world economy. Every day we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, which is enough to fill 10 million Blu-Ray discs, which in turn is enough to make a stack the size of 4 Eiffel Towers. Big doesn’t seem to be quite ‘big’ enough a word to describe how data is evolving.
The most astonishing thing about Big Data is the speed at which it is increasing. 90% of the world’s data, for example, was created in the last 2 years alone. The number of people with access to the internet today is equal to the world’s entire population in 1960 (3 billion). Global communication has never been easier and it might not come as much of a shock that there are 204 million emails sent per minute. But there are also 216,000 Instagram posts and 217,000 tweets. This is social and business conversation at its best.
The data collected through all these interactions is helping to shape the way we live our lives. As you can see below in the data graphic by vouchercloud it is helping us to save money (comparison websites, reducing energy bills, monitoring our fuel consumption and tailored coupons based on our previous spending habits). It is helping us to get around more efficiently – urban transport is improved using real time data capture and managing traffic hotspots by changing bus routes or traffic light sequences to ease congestion. Even more topical and important, it is helping us to save lives; streaming patient data to recognise outbreaks of illnesses and disease, identifying those at risk and managing the costs of treating patients.
Data is improving and expanding across mobile, digital media and social media, and Big Data is innovating the future ahead of us.