Focus on big data growing in business, education

Posted by Justin Hesser on September 8, 2014

Three major North American publications have begun the week with looks at where big data usage currently stands and where it is likely to go in the future. Tech news website Business Insider recaps two recent reports on the intersection of big data and social media, and how the information gathered from both can boost business. Among the cited statistics is that Facebook processes 500 times more data daily than the New York Stock Exchange.

Both the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and International Data Corporation have predicted up to a 50-fold increase in data generation by 2020. Similarly, a Fortune column cites dramatic increases in cloud computing, data center storage space and device connectivity. But both articles conclude that there is much work to be done before the business world is ready to handle all the information that is coming its way. More available data, says Fortune, "means hiring people with the right skills to make sense of it all."

Business Insider has the results of a Strategy& survey by which 61 percent of data professionals believe big data will change marketing for the better, but according to IBM, 71 percent of marketing officers admit their companies are not prepared to make the most of that data.

Which is where education comes in. The Toronto Star says that demand for business analytics MBA programs is rising fast in both Canada and the United States, where the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects there to be 1.5 million jobs for data analytics experts in the business sector in 2018.

Already small and medium-sized businesses have tools at their disposal to get ahead of the curve. Custom database software is available for companies who want to easily access and analyze all the information that will help them improve business, from production to sales numbers.