The Era of Big Data

Uncategorized Posted Jan 4, 2013 by Bryan Grillo

Admittedly, I’m an NPR and a podcast junkie. One of the shows I subscribe to is “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” broadcast from WHYY in Philadelphia.

The program is terrific, covering topics that, for me, are informative and relevant both personally and professionally. And a recent piece that qualified in the latter category sparked this post.

Linguist Contributor Geoffrey Nunberg, an adjunct full professor at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley, discussed Big Data. Based on its key roles in the recent presidential election, online advertising and the ongoing privacy debate, among other areas – not to mention turning, as he says, “statistics into a sexy major” – Mr. Nunberg deemed Big Data his “2012 Word of the Year.”

We in the tech PR world talk and write about technology trends continually. Like cloud computing, SDN and virtualization, many of our core clients are dealing with and leveraging different aspects of Big Data and analytics. But hearing it discussed in the aforementioned context certainly reaffirmed (for me) that the era of Big Data is truly upon us.

At its Symposium/ITxpo 2012 Gartner (once again) placed Big Data – this time in the form of Strategic Big Data – on its “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013” list, and projected that this year, “big data is forecast to drive $34 billion of IT spending.” Looking ahead, the firm forecasted that Big Data “will help drive IT spending to $3.8 trillion in 2014.”

Big Data also played an instrumental role in the annual EMC-sponsored IDC Digital Universe study. Published last month, this latest edition, titled “Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East,” revealed that:

  • “Only a tiny fraction of the world’s Big Data potential is being realized, though the amount of useful data is expanding.”
  • “By 2020, 33% of the digital universe (13,000+ exabytes) will have Big Data value if it is tagged and analyzed.”
  • “As cloud computing plays an even more important role in the management of Big Data, the number of servers worldwide is expected to grow tenfold and the amount of information managed directly by enterprise data centers will grow by a factor of 14.”

Now that’s Big.

Be sure to check out and click on the following infographic from the IDC Digital Universe study. Should be an interesting year… and beyond.