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Big data is growing, but so is the gap between potential and ROI

Paul Newman

December 11, 2012

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Big data is growing at rates so fast that IDC's Digital Universe study predicts it will reach 40 zettabytes by 2020 if it stays on its current volume trajectory. This vast figure represents 50 times the amount of data that was accounted for in 2010 and is also 57 times more than the total number of grains of sand on all of the world's beaches, which IDC estimates at 700,500,000,000,000,000,000.

Unfortunately, the study found that data growth does not necessarily translate to business insight, as less than 1 percent of the world's data is analyzed.

Companies are rapidly investing in data strategies to lift that number. However, industry analysts have warned chief information officers and chief financial officers that simply harnessing the data is not enough to garner actual results.

Thomas Redman, president of Navesink Consulting Group, recently presented at an event sponsored by Hitachi Data Systems and hosted by Harvard Business Review, in which he discussed the plans companies should make, as reported by Information Management. During the conference, Redman explained that good plans must include goals and data quality measures to make sure firms are churning out actionable insight, rather than useless content.
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