The saying that “We live in a data-driven society” is an understatement – we live in a data driven world. A recent CSC infographic explains how data is getting bigger faster, detailing trends in the spread of data into the future. The transnational connections that technological advances have helped us forge and strengthen are shrinking our world, as it gets easier for us to get closer and learn more about each other. Most of our data is interrelated and compiled of information from various countries. Massive amounts of data are generated at lightning speed, but it’s still a small big data world after all.
To put size in perspective, 1 terabyte holds the capacity of approximately 210 single-sided DVDs. 1,000,000,000 terabytes equals 1 zettabyte (zb). In 2009, individuals and corporations produced .79 zb of data and by 2010 this number reached 1.2 zb. It is predicted that by 2015 data production will reach 7.9 zb and 35 zb by 2020. Also by 2020, annual data generation is expected to rise by 4300%.
Structured data includes number figures and any other information that can be easily placed and analyzed in an excel sheet. Unstructured data includes photos, videos and social media messages. By 2014 unstructured file-based data storage will total over 60 exabytes.
Most importantly, analysts are making the shift from “collecting to connecting data” as businesses explore how data-sets relate. For example, big data analysis has been important in identifying and isolating key genomes. A biotech company used an open-source language program to sort through 10 gigabytes of data and identify 23 optimal genes. The findings enabled the creation of “the first gender-specific diagnostic tests for heart disease.”
For more information, download CSC’s full Big Data rEvolution report. Researchers suggest: “This shift in how we handle data reflects the fact that our world is complex and connected in ways we cannot imagine…In today’s data world, there is no place for the rigid and ordered. Our new data world is a place where chaos runs rampant. This world is free, it is loose, it is not standard, it is us. The data reflects everything that we are.”
View the full infographic below.