Big data is changing the way we do business. Its adoption is rising rapidly as organisations seek to unlock the value of data analytics. Yet large amounts of data have been available for decades. So what sets ‘big data’ apart? Primarily, it is the velocity, variety and volume of data now available to us. Due to increases in processing power, we can now go beyond the data to extract insights that would have been hidden to us in the past. Big data isn’t new, it’s just more powerful than ever before.
Today, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. That means it would take only three days to generate as many bytes of data as the number of grains of sand in the world. And estimates suggest that this figure will grow exponentially. By 2020, there could be 44 times as much data as in 2009. Although the sweet spot of big data varies for each organisation, every sector stands to benefit. From increased customer satisfaction to faster business processes, the rewards from are by no means small, and future investment is expected to be significant. Analyst firm Gartner has revealed that more than three-quarters of companies are investing or planning to invest in big data in the next two years, a three percent increase on 2014.
Although the amount of data flowing through each business differs, the message behind these numbers is that the scale of data is growing. The increasing sophistication of analytics platforms combined with the growth of data from social media, mobile apps, and the internet of things offers organisations a glimpse into the future unlike ever before.
From such insights, organisations are able to become more responsive. The ability to operate at greater speeds was one of the biggest drivers of big data investment in 2016, according to NewVantage Partners. When it comes to enterprise technology, in particular, one of the biggest benefits that big data brings to the table is that it offers businesses the opportunity to process large amounts of data and then extract insights that go beyond this data. One central way of improving speed in a business, for instance, is to prevent breakdowns and avoid time-outs.