Big data has had a tremendous impact on marketing, helping to inform all corners of the discipline, as well as organizations at large. And as creating and sharing content online become easier, the importance of data (of all sizes) will continue to grow and evolve.
So how about some data about big data? Here's a collection of numbers that show the growth of big data, its effect on marketing (and IT, too), and what to expect in the next couple of years.
1. A retailer using big data to the full could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent.
2. There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills, as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.
3. Walmart says adding semantic (data-based) on-site search has improved online shoppers completing a purchase by 10 to 15 percent. In Walmart terms, that is billions of dollars.
4. American Express dug through its data to look for indicators that predict loyalty and developed sophisticated predictive models to analyze historical transactions and 115 variables to forecast potential churn. The company believes it can now identify 24 percent of Australian accounts that will close within the next four months.
5. Procter & Gamble’s Pepto-Bismol sales were declining three years ago, when the company turned to big data and realized that consumers were discussing the indigestion-relief medicine on Saturday and Sunday mornings after drinking a bit too much. P&G began luring hungover Facebookers. This resulted in an 11 percent market-share gain in the 12 months through fall 2011.
6. The digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes by 2020, an amount that exceeds previous forecasts by 5 zettabytes, resulting in a 50-fold growth from the beginning of 2010.
7. The investment in spending on IT hardware, software, services, telecommunications, and staff that could be considered the “infrastructure” of the digital universe will grow by 40 percent between 2012 and 2020. Investment in targeted areas like storage management, security, big data, and cloud computing will grow considerably faster.
8. Sixty-four percent of brands state they have invested in big data in 2013 or are planning to do so within one year.
9. By 2015, 20 percent of Global 1000 organizations will have established a strategic focus on information infrastructure.
10. Eric Schmidt, Google’s former chief executive, said in 2010 that about 5 exabytes of data, or the equivalent of 250,000 years of DVD-quality video, was created in the world every two days. By some estimates, next year we will create that much data every 10 minutes.
11. Only 15 percent of companies that have invested in big data have an enterprisewide big data strategy in place.
12. By 2015, big data is expected to create 4.4 million IT jobs globally, of which 1.9 million will be in the U.S.
13. Driven by the rise of big data, by 2015, 25 percent of organizations will have a chief digital officer.
14. The worldwide big data market will achieve a 40.5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2018, increasing from $6.3 billion to $48.3 billion in the process.
15. The vast majority of managers are swimming in data, with 93 percent saying they find it a challenge to integrate and manage all their data, and 40 percent describing it as “very challenging.”