Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. To help get your head around just how much data this is, think of it in terms of blue-ray discs. It would fill 10 million, the height of which, when stacked, would measure as tall as four Eiffel towers on top of each other. In other words, we’re generating a lot.
But is this a new trend? Well, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years alone. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. In fact, the amount of data being stored grows four times faster than the world economy, representing a substantial shift in economic power and source of economic value.
The increasing quantity of data available is changing our everyday lives. The movement towards handling gigantic datasets, drawing analysis from the everyday and capturing, processing, storing and analysing big data, is allowing us to optimise our lives with a qualitative approach. In consumer-based businesses, for example, you can see the evidence of big data in the following:
- A 360-degree view of customers
- Engagement of customers and merchants in conversation
- Customised and personalised adverts
But big data isn’t just good news for business. It’s given rise to a self-tracking phenomenon sweeping the globe. 100,000 health apps are available for smartphones, for instance. In the US, 60% of people track their diet, weight and exercise and 34% of self-trackers say the practice affected a health decision.
Elsewhere, in the UK, seven in ten adults track their health and 25% aged 25-44 said motivational prompts through their smartphone would have a huge affect on their health choices. You can quickly see how big data is allowing us to make better-informed decisions.
What’s more, benefits could be felt in almost every facet of life. At home, we could monitor and reduce our energy use. When we use our cars, we could reduce insurance and monitor the condition, mileage and fuel consumption. Other uses of big data include:
- Urban transport. Real-time data, GPS systems and social media can enable transport agencies to facilitate the management of traffic. They can deliver information to drivers via mobile apps indicating approximate driving times and offering alternative routes.
- Fire services. Using data from open government sources, surveillance systems, GPS tracking and smoke and fire detectors, risks can be calculated for all buildings, streets, waterways and transport links. This ensures fire services are properly equipped in case of an emergency.
These are just a few examples of how big data is influencing everyday life. The more you start to think about it, the more areas you can see the effects and potential of big data.
If you want to find out more, check out this great infographic. You can find out the estimated savings an average family could make by making better use of big data, along with other benefits in waste management, healthcare, crime prediction and much more.
About Guest Author: James Trumper is a freelance graphic designer originally from Liverpool, now living in Bristol. He left the comfortable surroundings of his hometown for the South three years ago and is now a fully fledged participant in the rat race. When he is not designing infographics he enjoys cycling around the city, as well as exploring the West Country. With Bristol being such an expensive place to live, he is always hunting for ways to save money, which is one of the reasons why he enjoys working with companies like vouchercloud.
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