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Leveraging ‘Big Data’ to Drive Innovation


We’ve all heard the staggering claim that, in the last 5 years, the world has produced more research data than has been created in all of human history.

According to the latest IDC Digital Universal Study, more than 1.8 zettabytes of information will be created and stored in 2011.  That’s enough information to fill 57 billion 32GB Apple iPads (which could build a mountain of iPads 25 times higher than Mt Fuji).  It’s a mind-boggling figure, for sure, but not entirely surprising considering we are dealing with larger amounts of information (‘Big Data’) from more devices than ever before.

  • In this decade, the number of mobile devices globally will grow to more than 10 billion, and each of these “terminals” represents a powerful computer capable of creating and sending large amounts of data.
  • The world’s 4 billion mobile-phone users (12% of whom own smartphones) have turned themselves into data-streams. 
  • Manufacturers have embedded more than 30 million sensors into their products.  These sensors provide a continuous flow of geolocation, digital and social data inputs. 

In addition to this explosion of data input devices, the Web has also created new types of information and information relationships:

  • Up to 7,000 tweets per second, more than 175 million tweets per day, and more than 1 billion tweets each week are sent out on Twitter.
  • Over 800 million people are using Facebook for everything from photo browsing to intense gaming and they are sharing more than 30 billion pieces of content every month.
  • Between 35-40 hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • Nearly 160 million public blogs represent billions of posts and comments.

More information means more challenges making sense of all that data.  And the problem isn’t going to get any easier.  Analysts project that the amount of data generated worldwide is expected to rise 40% annually—or eight times faster than IT spending. 

Earlier this year, McKinsey published its report on Big Data positioning Big Data as the ‘next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity.’  Manufacturers, in particular, stand to benefit greatly from the ability to harness and analyze large data sets.

Leveraging Big Data to Drive Innovation was also the topic of a presentation by Ken Klapproth, Invention Machine’s Vice President Product Marketing, at this month’s Business Innovation Conference.  The presentation explores how companies can capitalize on Big Data.  Are we once again witnessing a time where the amount of information has exceeded it’s usefulness? Or, do we just need an innovative way to find what we need?

How is your organization using the explosion of new and disparate sources of knowledge to create a competitive advantage? Contact us to learn how we are working with companies across the globe to boost productivity and accelerate innovation by making critical Big Data information and insights available to those that need it.