15 Shocking Stats Uncovered By Big Data

SYSTEMS & TECHNOLOGY   |   4 minutes  |   December 2, 2016

Massive amounts of data are readily available to anyone with the means and desire to collect, analyse and use that data for intelligent decision making.

This information not only gives us deeper insight into the world around us, but, more interestingly, on the way we interact with that world, and even how we can alter our interactions for the better.

In this slideshare, you’ll find a range of statistics uncovered by big data, as well as insight into how these have impacted our ability to accurately predict human behavior through social analytics.

Watch out for five video sneak-peeks from the course content of the MIT Big Data and Social Analytics online short course, in which Alex “Sandy” Pentland, one of the world’s leading data scientists, offers his insight into social physics.

Shocking Stats Uncovered By Big Data

Shocking Stat #1: 90% of all currently available data in the world was generated in the past 2 years.

And this impacts social physics.

“Social physics is statistics meets big data to understand people.”
Alex “Sandy” Pentland, Founding Faculty Director of MIT Connection Science Research Initiative

What it means: Widely available and increasingly accurate data takes us closer to discovering why people do what they do – as well as how, where and with who else they do it. In 2015, the amount of data produced every two days equalled the amount produced in all of history prior to 2003.

Shocking Stat #2: There will be more than 50 billion smart-connected devices in the world within the next 5 years.

With the estimated 2020 population at around 7.7 billion, that’s an average of 6.49 devices per person on the planet – all developed to collect, analyze and share data. Watch this video where Alex “Sandy” Pentland explains how this impacts our understanding of people.

Shocking Stat #3: 33.3% of all data will exist in or pass through the cloud by 2020.

As well as increased convenience, this poses an obvious threat to invasion of privacy.

Shocking Stat #4: Through improved integration of big data, it’s estimated that healthcare could save as much as $300 billion a year.

This is equal to reducing costs by $1000 per person per year.

Shocking Stat #5: 73% of organizations have either already invested in big data, or plan to invest by the end of this year.

“Understanding these human-machine systems is what’s going to make our future social systems stable and safe. We are getting beyond complexity, data science and web science, because we are including people as a key part of these systems. That’s the promise of Big Data – to really understand the systems that make our technological society. As you begin to understand them, then you can build systems that are better.”
Alex “Sandy” Pentland

Shocking Stat #6: 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second of every day for every human on the planet by 2020.

It doesn’t sound like a huge number, until you put it in context. (1.7 x 7.7 billion) x (60 seconds in a minute) x (60 minutes in an hour) x (24 hours in a day) = 1,130,976 billion megabytes of total new information.

In relative terms, consider that a standard CD holds 700 MB of data. So that’s over 1.6 trillion CDs worth of data, per day. That’s enough stacked CDs to reach the moon and back, twice, and almost back to the moon.

Shocking Stat #7: $200 billion of wasted energy is being eliminated by cities through smart use of big data.

FirstFuel, a Massachusetts-based analytic software company, optimized the energy usage of the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC through a combination of key information (building address, 1 year of electric meter data, and 1 year of natural gas data), sophisticated weather data, GIS mapping, and semantic public web search.

Shocking Stat #8: The digital universe is estimated to grow from 4.4 zettabytes in 2013 to 44 zettabytes by 2020.

A zettabyte equals roughly a billion terabytes.

Shocking Stat#9: On average, Google alone processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches annually.

The large amount of data available to be gathered from people’s searches has even made its way into popular culture, appearing as a prominent theme in season 4 of House of Cards, which premiered on Netflix in March 2016.

Information about user behavior will be increasingly accurate and widespread – as long as you’ve got the tools to organize and analyze it.

Shocking Stat #10: 70% of the data in the digital universe was generated by users in 2010 alone.

That’s 900 exabytes of information waiting to be analyzed, interpreted and utilized.

Shocking Stat #11: It is estimated that revenues in the worldwide mobile learning market will reach $14.5 billion by 2019.

Forward-thinking entrepreneurs are capitalizing on this soaring interest. Sal Khan, an MIT alumni and business professional, founded Khan Academy with a mission to offer free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.

Shocking Stat #12: $2.5 billion+ of combined funding was acquired by the 4 most-funded big data startups – Cloudera, Palantir Technologies, Domo, and MongoDB – as of halfway through 2015.

With the number of big data startups rising year-on-year, the demand for relevant skills continues to grow. Knowledge of big data’s effect on industries (finance, for example) is essential for both those looking to join the disruption, and those looking to oppose it.

Shocking Stat #13: The combined number of active users on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram alone is 2 billion+.

Every second, Facebook adds 6 new profiles.

Every second 7,000 Tweets get sent.

Every second over 480 photos are posted to Instagram.

Consider that a portion of these interactions will be with brands, and each interaction provides valuable data for predicting human behavior.

Shocking Stat #14: 72% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour.

The timeliness of that response will influence their future interactions with the brand.

Shocking Stat #15: Currently, less than 0.5% of all available data is analyzed and used.

Imagine the potential.

Ready to turn data into intelligence?

Register for the MIT School of Architecture and Planning Big Data and Social Analytics online short course.