Despite being one of the latest technology trends and the focus of so much attention in the business world, big data is not a true novelty. It always existed – but today, the biggest difference is that this immense vault of useful info and actionable insights is now finally accessible. The newest data analysis methods and advancements in cloud computing lowered the threshold for what big data can be used by companies to drive their interests forward. By “cracking the safe,” technology enabled a true business revolution.
A true mirage for analysts who tried to access the myriad of unique insights that it may provide, the ever-expanding pool of data generated by databases, archives and internal sources evolved into an ocean with the introduction of the internet and social media. Today, an immense volume of high-velocity data is produced every day, opening a world of possibilities and business opportunities for companies who exploit it for competitive advantage. With a yearly revenue expected to reach $42 billion in 2018 and an accumulated volume of 44 zettabytes by 2020, big data is, hands down, the future of commerce.
The real potential of big data goes beyond the mere size of data itself. Its immense value lies in the chance to analyze these gargantuan data sets to empower almost every aspect of business, from operations to customer behavior, advertisement, workflow procedures, supply-chain management, and so on. Big data provides a clearer understanding of the overall picture, is statistically reliable, and is an irreplaceable tool to analyze past performance, optimize present processes and set future goals.