As humans, we have an insatiable appetite for deriving insights from data. With the intensification of big data and the promise of connecting the dots, our hunger for meaningful insights is greater than ever.
We rely on data for daily tasks without a second thought. We scour the web and mobile apps for movie recommendations, gift purchases, climate patterns, transportation foresight, healthcare, fraud detection, consumer behavior, future sales outcomes, and even for the ideal romantic companion.
The data romp is accelerating, and it is offering us smarter insights from diverse sources: blogs, social channels, product review aggregation sites, online videos, sensors, content data bases, documents, collaboration tools and the endless containers where data, information, or knowledge is stored.
The challenge of the data explosion is finding productive pathways to process the data, to identify patterns and then, through this analytical “sense making” process, glean new insights for effective action.
Did you know that data has become such a significant economic factor that it is almost on par with labor and capital? The market facts also bear this out.
- By 2020, over one-third of all data will live in or pass through the cloud.
- Data production will be 44 times greater in 2020 than it was in 2009.
- Individuals create 70 per cent of all data. Enterprises store 80 per cent.
The world of big data is changing dramatically right before our eyes – from the increase in data growth to the way in which it’s structured and used. The trend of big data growth presents enormous challenges, but it also presents incredible business opportunities.
The approaches to data are now different as well. In the past we would ask, “What questions do you want your data to answer?” and then build a data model to solve the problem set. Today, we ingest all the data and wait for patterns to surface – in other words, we let the data lead.
Our entire world is simply a massive storage reservoir of data types. Eventually all data sources that we are collecting and processing will be connected into a powerful central core. This extra-sensory intelligent network pipe will further evolve our world in ways we have yet to fully fathom.
Data should be looked at as a massive sensor probe to peer into our patterns from our brain, our weather, our nanotechnologies, our business processes, our stars, and our universe. With the vast reservoirs of both structured and unstructured data sources, these sensory data probes will manifest into smart application programming interface probes piercing through the layers of data connecting the dots that will move us further to actionable data.
Analytics is no longer confined to a few people working with a subset of data on a small server in the back-office. Now analytics is on the power stage.
Today, analytics is moving to centre stage as more people can access the tools and analyze all the data, leveraging data from multiple sources and unleashing the power of a distributed grid of computing resources to do the heavy computational analysis.
In Cindy Gordon’s next blog post in the Brave ‘Now’ World series, she examines how big data has disrupted the financial industry and what that might mean for other businesses.