What is Big Data?
As our dependence on technology grows and computers permeate more and more of our everyday activities, our production of data grows simultaneously. Think about how much we interact with computers throughout the day: smartphone usage, checking emails, social media posting, online shopping, CCTV, satellite navigation. How much of your movements today have been documented or can be accounted for online? All this information contributes to Big Data and as you can imagine, Big Data is growing at an exponential rate.
We are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. . . and that figure is growing! (source DCU)
In the next minute, over 300 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube, 140,000 trades will be made through the NASDAQ stock exchange, and Facebook users will make more than 4.7 million likes. (source DCU)
What is happening with all this data?
This data is very valuable information that can be collected, analysed and monetised. Businesses see the potential in analysing data and using it to improve their business activity. Big Data is also collected to develop new technology. Decisions that are made based on experience and intuition will be made in the future by machine analysis of massive amounts of data.
It is expected that Big Data analysis will reveal patterns and connections that will vastly improve most human activities in the future. Think about driving a car; a computerised car will operate using data collected from its environment. It will remove ‘human error’ and make travelling safer and more efficient. Big Data analysis will contribute significantly to make advancements in healthcare provision, business, marketing, science and just about every sector; it will change the world!
Ireland is a significant global hub for both software development and data. Ireland houses eight of the top ten global software companies and there are 46 data centres located in Ireland (2018). The key players in the data industry in Ireland are Microsoft, Intel, InterXion, Amazon, Facebook and Google. Ireland’s data economy is estimated to be worth almost €10bn a year and it’s growing.