Big DataTechnology

Exploring Data: the Potential of Big Data

Big Data is data that is too large, complex and dynamic for any conventional data tools to capture, store, manage and analyze.

The right use of Big Data allows analysts to spot trends and gives niche insights that help create value and innovation much faster than conventional methods. It’s something that grows concurrently with the development of technology and something that helps continued innovation. The amount of digital data in our world has been exponentially growing in just a few short years. Big data has the potential to become the next frontier for innovation, competition and profit.

A growing torrent

Just how big is big data? Huge: and with the potential to expand even more in the future. Some facts and numbers:

  • 4 billion pieces of content are shared everyday on Facebook
  • 235 terabytes of data has been collected by the us library of congress in April 2011
  • 40% the projected growth of global generated per year
  • 5% the global growth in global it spending per year
Big Data Analytics

What is this data worth?

Simply knowing that all this data is out there is one thing. Utilizing this data to turn a profit is another issue. Using big data has the potential to increase profitability across all sectors. However there are five sectors that stand to benefit the most:


Healthcare has lagged behind many other industries when it comes to improving operational performance and adopting technology-enabled process improvements.


Governments in many parts of the world need to increase their productivity through digital means. Examining the public sector of the European Union we can see where the utilization of big data can create value through efficiency.


The use of technology and digital data in the retail industry has allowed for a boost in profitability and productivity over the decade. The continued adoption of big data has the potential for further profitability.


The manufacturing sector has adopted data in the use of information technology and automation. Continued adoption of big data could lead to increased production and decreased costs.

Personal Location Technology

Personal location data volumes have increased rapidly with the adoption of mobile phones. The potential for this data is far greater than any other because it is not confined to a single sector but cuts across all industries.

Can we capture the full potential of big data?

There are several issues that must be dealt with before all industry sectors can access the full potential of this big data.

Data Policies

Big data raises several legal issues due to the fact that is fundamentally different from other assets. Since data can be so easily copied intellectual property becomes an urgent consideration to policy makers. Also there is an issue of culpability. Who is liable for an inaccurate piece of data when it leads to negative consequences?

Data Access

In order to create the most broad data available companies will need to increasingly rely on third-party data sources and integrate external information with their own. Currently, there are not completely efficient markets that allow for this transfer and sharing of data.


Local systems and interior standards/formats prevents the integration of big data many sectors, especially the public sector. Making use of large datasets requires both adequate storage and compatible technology. These investment costs are sometimes far too large.


In many instances there is a lack of skilled personnel needed to mine big data, create the necessary structures and make use of big data through informed decisions.