Just 0.5% of global data analysed

Those who pour scorn on the rise of ‘big data’ – claiming it has been made up by software vendors – could be forced into a rethink after a new report revealed the global data supply reached 2.8 trillion gigabytes (2.8 zettabytes) this year.
But with just 0.5% of this information being used for analysis, according to the Digital Universe Study, firms are being urged to harness its potential.
Volumes are projected to reach 40ZB by 2020, or 5,247 GB per person, with emerging economies accounting for an increasingly large proportion of the world’s total.
The report also contained a warning on data security, with levels of protection shown to be lagging behind the expansion in volume. In 2012 less than a fifth of the world’s data was protected, despite 35% requiring such measures.
IDC estimated that almost a quarter of data currently held could yield useful insights if properly tagged and analysed, but this potential is still a long way from being achieved.
Just 3% of all data is currently tagged and ready for manipulation, and only one sixth of this – 0.5% – is used for analysis. The gulf between availability and exploitation represents a significant opportunity for businesses worldwide, with global revenues surrounding the collection, storage, and analysis of big data set to reach $16.9bn in 2015 – a fivefold increase since 2010.
“As the volume and complexity of data barraging businesses from all angles increases, organisations have a choice: they can either succumb to information-overload paralysis, or they can take steps to harness the tremendous potential teeming within all of those data streams”, said Jeremy Burton, executive vice president of product operations and marketing for the report’s sponsors EMC.
In 2012 just over a third of all data required some form of protection, but with companies and the public sector generating and holding increasing amounts of personal information, this proportion is expected to exceed 40% by 2020.

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