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20 fascinating facts about big data

In the past decade, the nature of business has changed. Big data has played a huge part in this, and in time it will have affected every business and individual on the planet. It is not just an empty term people are throwing around. It is something that's immediate and relevant, challenging every aspect of our business. We cannot simply ignore it and run our business. In light of this, Forbes have compiled 20 statistics to convince us of Big Data's importance. While some may seem surprising, all have a strong basis in truth.

1. More data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race.

2. By 2020, 1.7MB of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet.

3. By the same year, the digital universe of data will grow from 4.4 zettabytes to 44 zettabytes (or 44 trillion gigabytes)

4. We perform 40,000 search queries every second, or 1.2 trillion searches every year.

5. In August 2015, over 1 billion people used Facebook in a single day.

6. Facebook users send on average 31.25 million messages and view 2.77 million videos every minute.

7. Every minute, up to 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.

8. In 2015, 1 trillion photos will be taken, billions of which will be shared online.

9. This year, 1.4 billion smartphones will be shipped, all equipped to collect data.

10. By 2020, we will have over 6.1 billion smartphone users globally.

11. Within five years there will be over 50 billion smart connected devices in the world.

12. By 2020, at least a third of all data will pass through the cloud.

13. Distributed computing (cloud computing) is a real and active phenomenon - Google uses it every day by using 1000 computers to answer a single search query (in 0.2 seconds).

14. The Hadoop market for open source distributed computing is set to grow at an annual rate of 58%, surpassing $1 billion by 2020.

15. Through better big data integration, healthcare could save $1000 on healthcare for every man, woman and child each year.

16. The White House has invested $200 million in big data projects.

17. For a Fortune 1000 company, a 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income.

18. Retailers could increase their profiting margins by as much as 60% if they use big data effectively.

19. 73% of organisations have already invested or plan to invest in big data by 2016.

20. At the moment, less than 0.5% of all data is ever analysed and used.


Although some of these statistics are not contextually supported, they are certainly startling. The future for big data is just that - big. It has limitless possibilities, and those who learn to harness, control and use the data being created will make their mark soon enough.

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