New 2012 Digital Universe Study Reveals Big Data Opportunity

The 2012 Digital Universe study, conducted by the research firm IDC for EMC, is full of eye popping statistics about the amount of information the world is generating.

Consider these findings from the study:

  • The amount of information in the Digital Universe is doubling every two years, currently growing at a rate of more than 7,600 petabytes per day
  • Less than 1% of the world’s data is analyzed today, presenting an enormous opportunity for Big Data analytics, which we at EMC believe will become the “killer app” of the next wave of IT
  • By 2020, there will be 7.6B people on the Internet… and 200B interconnected “things.” As my colleague and EMC Fellow Steve Todd writes, “embedded systems (e.g. sensors, surveillance cameras, smart meters, appliances, medical devices, toys, etc.) will become one of the major sources of ones and zeros”
  • This machine generated data (driven by what some call the “Internet of Things”) will account for 40% of the Digital Universe by 2020, up from just 11% in 2005
  • Less than 20% of the information in the Digital Universe is protected today, yet “enterprises have liability associated with and responsibility for nearly 80%” of it
  • Information is much less protected in emerging markets, which will account for the majority (62%) of the Digital Universe by 2020.

Clearly, as the volume and complexity of data increases from all angles, IT organizations have a choice: succumb to information-overload paralysis, or take steps to harness the tremendous potential teeming within the new data streams.

This year’s study underscores the massive opportunity that exists for organizations that recognize the importance of navigating the Digital Universe with the right balance of technology, data security practices and IT skills.

About the Author: Jeremy Burton