Data Is the New Oil

The volume, variety and velocity of data generated in today’s world is nothing less than breathtaking. Although digital technology has spanned more than four decades in the enterprise, the acceleration of this trend is redefining and reshaping business in profound ways.

A new infographic produced by DOMO illustrates just how digital things have become. The business analytics firm collected data from a number of sources and the results are mind-boggling. Overall, more than 3.7 billion people now use the internet. That’s up from about 2.5 billion in 2012.

Here’s a look at some of things that happen every minute of every day on the internet:

  • Google conducts 3,607,080 searches.
  • Uber riders take 45,787 trips.
  • Amazon rakes in $258,751.90 in sales.
  • Skype users make 154,200 calls.
  • Venmo processes $51,892 peer-to-peer transactions.
  • Twitter users post 456,000 tweets.
  • People send 15,220,700 text messages.
  • People receive 103,447,520 e-mail spam messages.
  • The Weather Channel receives 18,055,557 requests for forecasts.
  • Wikipedia publishes 600 new page edits.
  • Tumblr users publish 74,220 posts.

Let’s face it, the above numbers are mind-boggling. In the U.S. alone, internet users consume 2,657,700 gigabytes of internet data every minute of every day. Incredibly, 90 percent of all data that exists today has been created over the last two years. This totals about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily.

The fact that so much data exists and that the volume continues to swell won’t come as a shock to CIOs. Neither should the fact that this trend will accelerate in the future, thanks to the Internet of Things and the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. The latter revolves around technology convergence spanning digital, physical and biological systems.

If the DOMO infographic proves anything, it’s that data is the new oil. It’s possible to extract enormous insights — and wealth — by understanding the story behind the numbers and the relationships between things. Innovators and disruptors understand this.

However, even with the best analytics tools, advanced deep learning neural nets and ace data scientists, initiatives can fall completely flat. Consequently, CIOs must promote a new and different mindset that eschews linear thinking and protectionism and instead embraces creativity and even counterintuitive approaches to IT and business.

That’s when the sum of all the data is greater than the individual pieces and parts. That’s when real disruption takes place.

Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard
Samuel Greengard writes about business, technology and other topics. His book, The Internet of Things (MIT Press) was released in the spring of 2015.

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