Data: A Massive Untapped Opportunity
Learn and earn more from your data
The data and information services industry has reached an inflection point. Data has always been a mainstay of modern marketing, finance and other industries. Yet traditionally, working with data was slow, cumbersome and difficult to scale. These days, the scope of the data opportunity is virtually limitless, restricted only by organizations’ creativity and knowledge of the vastly expanding data landscape.
Over the past decade, technology has completely changed the equation. Petabytes of new data are being created every day — from sensors, search, web traffic, crowd-sourcing, content choices, digital-device use, geolocation, transactions, social media comments, and so on.
Partial List of Data Sources and Types
Social media comments
Social media comments
The rate of contemporary data creation is startling. For instance, a typical automobile produces an estimated 25 gigabytes of data per hour, and carmakers’ data could be worth as much as $750 billion by 2030. To put the data explosion in perspective, businesses had access to a billion gigabytes of data in 1993, when the web went public. By 2018, the world was generating more than 25 billion gigabytes of data each day, a figure that has been growing rapidly. Yet only a small fraction – about 5 billion gigabytes of available data – is being harnessed for decision making. While not all existing data is useful, the gap between the quantity produced and used underscores the size of the untapped opportunity.
Data is presenting meaningful new monetization opportunities for companies that possess useful data sets. Worldwide, the big data and business analytics market was estimated at $215 billion in 2021 and growing at 10% year-over-year. Top buyers include the banking, manufacturing, and professional services sectors. US marketers alone spend more than $20 billion a year on data and data services.
The utility of all this data has been greatly augmented by concurrent technological advances. The cloud makes it much easier to host, structure, and manage data. AI and analytics enable unprecedented insights. Automation allows far larger quantities of data to be analyzed, delivered to the point of use, and acted upon in real time. The result: data and analytics offer companies an unparalleled understanding of their customers, competitors, and market forces.
A wide variety of entities – ranging from smart cities to businesses in every sector – are seizing the opportunity, making themselves dramatically more competitive. Still, it’s our observation that many managers and executives have a relatively rudimentary understanding of the new data economy’s potential. This is understandable, given the pace and magnitude of change.
Still, it’s our observation that many managers and executives have a relatively rudimentary understanding of the new data economy’s potential.
The data revolution has spawned a universe of apps and intermediaries that organizations can deploy to build intelligence, add value, and help monetize their data. The internet of things (IoT) is adding substantially to the quality, quantity and variety of data collected. Worldwide, over 500 million people allow their location to be continuously tracked on their mobile device, providing a map of where they shop, commute, work and spend their leisure time. And cross-device mapping from a host of service providers can create composites cross-referencing mobile and fixed devices with IP and email addresses.
Unprecedented understanding of consumer behavior and the economy at a macro and micro level, available in real time. This presents virtually every sector with a massive opportunity that is only beginning to be mined.
- McKinsey.com “What’s driving the connected car” https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/whats-driving-the-connected-car; Roll Call, “Your car is watching you. Who owns the data?” April 9, 2019, https://www.rollcall.com/2019/04/09/your-car-is-watching-you-who-owns-the-data/
- TechJury, “How Much Data Is Created Every Day in 2021?” Nov. 1, 2021, https://techjury.net/blog/how-much-data-is-created-every-day/
- International Data Corporation, “Global Spending on Big Data and Analytics Solutions Will Reach $215.7 Billion in 2021, According to a New IDC Spending Guide,” August 17, 2021, https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210817005182/en/Global-Spending-on-Big-Data-and-Analytics-Solutions-Will-Reach-215.7-Billion-in-2021-According-to-a-New-IDC-Spending-Guide
- Winterberry Group, “The Outlook for Data Driven Marketing 2021,” Jan. 14, 2021