We're barely scratching the surface of Big Data

14 Dec 2012

Your enlightening Big Data Analytics statistic of the day: less than 1% of it is actually being analyzed.

That’s according to an IDC Digital Universe study (sponsored by EMC) that measures and forecasts the amount of digital information created and copied annually.

Right now, the study says, we’re generating 2.8ZB (zettabytes) of data annually – double the amount from two years ago. That will grow to 40ZB by 2020, which works out to 5,247 GB for every person on Earth, although it’s worth mentioning that 40% of that data will be machine-generated.

The study also measures the so-called “Big Data Gap” – the gap between the amount of data with hidden value and the amount of value that is actually being extracted, and the level of data protection required versus what is being delivered.

Network World Asia reports the results:

In 2012, 23% (643 exabytes) of the digital universe would be useful for Big Data if tagged and analyzed. However, currently only 3% of the potentially useful data is tagged, and even less is analyzed.

The amount of useful data is expanding with the growth of the digital universe. By 2020, 33% of the digital universe (13,000+ exabytes) will have Big Data value if it is tagged and analyzed.

Meanwhile, IDC says, the amount of data that requires protection will grow from 35% of the digital universe this year to over 40% by 2020 – but that less than 20% of current digital universe actually has these protections.

A few other interesting stats (some useful, some not so much):

1. Emerging markets account for 36% of the digital universe in 2012 – that will grow to 62% by 2020. China alone will account for 22%.

2. By 2020, 46.7% of data stored in the cloud will be related to entertainment, rather than enterprise data. Surveillance data, embedded and medical data, and information created by computers, phones and consumer electronics will make up the remainder.

3. 40 ZB is equal to 57 times the amount of all the grains of sand on all the beaches on earth.

4. If you encoded all that onto Blu-Ray discs, the weight of those discs would be the same as 424 Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

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