Big Data: The Future of Information and Business (extracted from a report by Harvard Business Review Analytics Services)

Executive Summary

According to one study, the world used over 2.8 zettabytes of data in 2012. This is more than anything we have ever known, and it will only become more voluminous over time. And yet in a 2013 survey of Harvard Business Review readers many said they were familiar with the concept of big data, but only 28 percent said that their organisation was “currently using big data to make better business decisions or create new business opportunities.” And only 3 percent, strongly agreed with the statement “my organisation knows how to apply big data to our business.”

To manage and take advantage of big data requires organisations to analyse it and convert it into insights, innovations, and business value. The same study suggests that only half of 1 percent of the 2.8 zettabytes is analysed in any way, suggesting that we have a huge task ahead of us to start getting value from it.

So what opportunities for growth and competitor advantage does effective use of big data deliver?

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