Have you heard of big data? It basically describes the college of large and complex data sets  that we process, store, capture, analyse and search. It’s interesting to see how data is shaping the world around us, and it offers many different insights into our everyday lives.

Did you know that every day we’re creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data? And a huge 90% of the data in the world today was created within the last two years?

The amount of data stored is growing 4x faster than the world’s economy, and as the amount of data increases, it allows for a more qualitative approach. Businesses can get a 360º view of their customers, merchants and customers are engaged in conversation, and companies can now display ads that are personalised to your interests.


In 2013, global internet traffic was approximately 51 billion gigabytes of data. The global internet population showed a 14.3% growth between 2011 and 2013, and the amount of people who have now have access to the world wide web is sitting at 3 billion, which is what the world’s population was in 1960.

Some of the most interesting statistics are about the speed that data is created, processed, stored, and analysed. There are 216,000 Instagram posts, 12 hours worth of video footage uploaded to youtube, 204,000.000 emails sent, and 277,000 tweets every single minute. That’s a lot of data.

When we talk about big data, we’re looking at both unstructured and structured data, including click streams, video, log files, audio, sensor data, and text. The latest technology allows these different types of data to be analysed together, but a huge 90% of all data is unstructured, which includes customer service call logs, customer purchase history, photos, and tweets.


It’s also interesting to see how data improves our lives. One of the big ways it impacts us is through health and wellbeing. The self tracking phenomenon has recently become huge, as data is entered either actively, or passively via apps, gadgets, and sensors. We can now track our fertility patterns, eating habits, moods, sex, emotional and physical health, and more. In fact, there are now more than 100,000 health apps available for smartphones.

69% of Americans are currently tracking their health stats, either in their heads or through technology, and so are 7 in 10 British adults. 60% of Americans track their exercise, weight, and diet, and almost half of the UK adults who are self tracking with their mobile devices have been experiencing strong behaviour changes.

25% of adults between the ages of 25 and 44 also said that if they were having motivational prompts on their smartphones they would see a huge effect on their health choices.

People and businesses store data in many different ways, including with their smartphones, on their laptop, and even with an electronic laboratory notebook. Big data is able to match different deals and offers with the individual habits and needs of their customers, and we’re sure to see this improve and increase going forward.