Big data and its conjoined twin analytics are the business buzzwords of the decade to be sure — and for good reason. Because of advances in technology and computing, we’re generating more data than ever before. A lot more. And we’re learning how to put it to good use.

Whether you’re the IT guy trying to convince your boss that analytics are where he should be investing, the boss just trying to understand it all, or the analyst trying to explain to… pretty much anyone what you do, these astonishing facts about the data we create, how we use it, and how much of it there is will amaze just about anyone.

- Less than 0.5% of all data we create is ever analysed and used. (Source)
- 73% of organizations have already invested or will invest in big data by the end of 2016. (Source)
- A 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for the typical Fortune 1000 company. (Source)
- Google uses about 1,000 computers to answering a single search query. (Source)
- By 2020, there will be more than 50 billion smart connected devices in the world, collecting, analysing and sharing data. (Source)
- Last year, an estimated 1 trillion photos were taken and billions of them will be shared online. (Source)
- By 2017, nearly 80% of photos will be taken on smart phones and most will become searchable data. (Source)
- We perform 40,000 search queries every second on Google alone, 1.2 trillion searches per year. (Source)
- By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human on the planet. (Source)
- 1 billion pieces of content are shared via Facebook’s Open Graph every day. (Source)
- Bad data costs US businesses alone $600 billion annually. (Source)
- Big data will drive an estimated $232 billion in spending in 2016. (Source)
- 70% of data is created by individuals, but enterprises are responsible for storing and managing 80% of that. (Source)
- A stack of CD-ROMs equal to the current global digital storage capacity would tower 80,000 km beyond the moon. (Source)
- There are nearly as many pieces of digital information as there are stars in the universe. (Source)

What do all of these facts have in common? Other than being great to work into small talk at the water cooler or cocktail party, they also highlight the enormity and importance of analytics work both now and in the future.

As you can plainly see just from the numbers, big data isn’t going anywhere, and neither is the work required to explain it and put it to good use.

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