‘Big Data’ is a big deal

Around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day.

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‘Big Data’ is a big deal Nicky Sheridan, senior vice president, Middle East, Africa & Turkey at Software AG.
By  Nicky Sheridan Published  November 18, 2013

Around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. The explosion of data has been so phenomenal as of late that around 90% of existing data globally is estimated to have been created in the past two years alone. Coming from multiple sources ranging from climate sensors and purchasing records to social media sites and mobile phone GPS signals, these enormous collections of information have come to be popularly known as ‘big data.’

Big deal

In the information technology field, big data specifically pertains to structured or unstructured data sets that are so large and complex that traditional data processing applications and database management tools are incapable of properly processing them.
The world currently holds an estimated 4 zettabytes or 4,000 exabytes of information; this figure is expected to leap to 35 zettabytes by 2020. These collections are typically from multiple sources and represent as much as trillions of records of millions of individuals. They are very challenging to create, manipulate and manage since the data are often incomplete and inaccessible. Moreover, it is difficult to perform business analytics using big data as current tools and practices were not developed to deal with such massive data.

Big benefits

Forward-thinking organisations bracing for the day when the Yottabyte or one-septillion-bytes mark emerges see numerous opportunities in the big data bandwagon. They point to results of a study by the McKinsey Global Institute indicating that, for example, a retailer properly harnessing big data could boost operating margin by over 60%, and that the US healthcare sector could create more than $300 billion in value annually by using big data more effectively.

Enterprise management software developer, Software AG points out that big data is influencing the rise of another technology trend to watch out for called ‘big services.’ This new buzz phrase refers to the public exposure of internal enterprise systems as services via application programming interfaces or APIs.

Online giants Google, Facebook and eBay are already handling billions of API calls a day, with a number of companies reporting billions of dollars in annual revenue thanks to API links to their various services.

Big data translates to big opportunities for enterprises across all industries. It has a huge impact on the continuing transformation from traditional business to the digital enterprise.

Putting big data systems and processes in place is not a matter of ‘if’ any more but a matter of ‘when’; the sooner an organisation lays out a viable big data strategy, the sooner it can benefit from the enhanced levels of productivity, innovation and competitiveness promised by this potent business tool.

Software AG considers big data as one of the Four Forces redefining enterprise management alongside mobile, social and cloud.

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