Big Data, Fast Data


big data, fast data megatrend

The statistics on how fast we are generating and accumulating data are staggering and only accelerating.  In 2010, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google noted that "From the dawn of cizilization until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data (5 billion gigabytes).  Now we produce five exabytes every two days...and the pace is accelerating." In fact it is accelerating so fast that by 2015, Forbes estimated that the amount of data we have will rise from 4.4 zettabytes in 2015 to 44 zetabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes by 2020.  However, despite this astounding rise in the accumulation of data, what is more compelling is that less that 0.5% of all data is ever analyzed and used.

While most people and businesses have been aware of the rise of big data for quite some time, what will drive the profound impact of this megatrend is not only the increasing ability to analyze this data, but to do so in real time. As the tools to gather and analyze data in real time become more widespread, the business applications, in everything from marketing to supply chain, from finance to manufacturing, fast data will profoundly change the way business is done, and how competitive advantage is generated and sustained.


business challenges

The challenges for businesses around big data and fast data are numerous.  In most industries we will see a divergence between companies that are able to collect and analyze data effectively and those that can't.  The effective use of data will become one of the fundamental generators - and destroyers - of competitive advantage. Ownership and access to data will become critical.  This could give advantages to industry incumbents who have access to data; otherwise these firms could be disrupted by new firms, or firms outside the industry who able to access and analyze data finding new sources of competitive advantage and undermining established patterns of behavior.

While the rise of big data and fast data will create myriad opportunities for companies that can take advantage of using data effectively, the big challenge that comes with this critical data is security.  Cyber security is going to be more and more critical as businesses rely more and more on the use of data as a source of competitive advantage.  We are already seeing the catastrophic impacts of large data breeches, but even these major events that are made public are only the tip of the iceberg.  The rise of ransomware hacks and other malicious attacks on a company's critical data infrastructure is perhaps one of the most critical challenges facing many companies today and will only continue to become more important.


How will Big Data, Fast Data impact your business?

Visit our Corporate Solutions tab to explore ways to prepare for the impact of Big Data, Fast Data and other megatrends that will impact your business over the coming years.





University of Oxford GOTO:

Forbes article:

PBS: The Human Face of Big Data: