So we’ve got all this data that we’ve captured, but who’s got time to decipher it? What good is data, if we can’t wrangle it and tell a story with it. Speaking of which, who exactly sifts through all this data and discovers the stories to be told? But before any of that, why do we think we need it? For hundreds of years businesses have managed without it. Does more data necessarily translate to more confident decision making?
How has data science helped UPS reduce the distance driven each year by 85 million miles and the amount of fuel used by 8 million fewer gallons… a reduction of 85,000 metric tons of CO2 released into our atmosphere?
In 2012, the amount of information stored worldwide exceeded 2.8 Zettabytes. What’s a Zettabyte? At the moment (July 2015), for roughly $2,500, you could purchase a new top of the line 15 inch Retina display MacBook Pro with 512 GB of storage, which is roughly half a Terabyte. So to put it in perspective, 2.8 Zettabytes would be equivalent to nearly 6 billion of the aforementioned MacBook Pros’ storage capacity combined.
It’s estimated that, by 2020, the said 2.8 Zettabytes of worldwide information will grow by 50 times as much. You do the math.
By 2016, the cumulative size of all the worldwide data-centers is expected to exceed 16,000 acres. To put it another way, you could lay a 2-lane highway from Tokyo to San Francisco with that amount of square footage.
It’s estimated that 33% of the world’s data could be useful if appropriately tagged and analyzed, but today we’re actually only analyzing about 0.5% of it.
Raw, unorganized data is worthless to us. When we can translate the data that’s out there into information, we begin forming concepts based on said data. From there we can then begin making sense of the information and turning it into knowledge. And the effective use of knowledge equates to wisdom. Therefore, when done right, data is wisdom.