If anyone still doubts the overwhelming complexity of today’s data deluge, Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google, offers some poignant perspective. In a recent book, “The Human Face of Big Data”, he observes that from the dawn of civilization until 2003 humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now, we produce more than five exabytes of data every two days.
Those torrents of information may be intimidating, but they also promise great opportunities. Indeed, Big Data has been touted as an answer to many problems. Looking for customer buying patterns? Retailers have petabytes of purchasing history. Need to test a new drug? There are terabytes of patient data to be analyzed. Launching a new product? A mountain of social media data awaits you.
Finding all of that data is not difficult; the real challenge is turning it into an unfair competitive advantage. It is not enough to generate large amounts of data in motion ; enterprises will need to capture, filter, analyze, and respond to this data in a real-time, scalable, and automated fashion. That is, if they hope to take full advantage of the data revolution. The overall goal is to transform forward-thinking enterprises into data-driven juggernauts—what we call the “extrasensory enterprise.”
I see three pillars of emerging technology that will make this possible:
The Internet of Everything. Connected sensors embedded in everyday objects collect, analyze, and transmit data automatically on a massive scale.
Big Data Analytics. Real-time, predictive, self-learning engines can mine and correlate enormous amounts of data in motion (from video cameras, sensors, social media, and traditional operational stores).
Next-Generation Collaboration. Insight has little impact if an enterprise cannot act on it. Human-to-machine and machine-to-machine collaboration will streamline decision making and enable enterprises to not only survive the zettaflood, but to ride, exploit, and channel it into unprecedented levels of intelligence.
Through data-capture, processing, and collaboration technologies, enterprises can attain an unprecedented level of intelligence and hyper-informed decision making. Connecting millions of everyday objects to the web will enable the Internet of Everything, providing a further wealth of data.
Internet of Everything: The Internet of Everything will infuse smart technologies into shoes, cars, jet turbines, you name it, and link them to cloud networks, unleashing massive new data streams.
Big Data: Enormous data sets generated by people, processes, and ubiquitous sensors will be managed by Big Data computing, rapidly processing data in motion and filtering crucial nuggets of insight.
Next-Generation Collaboration: Advancements in automation, interfaces, and orchestration are streamlining processes and collaboration, freeing humans for what they do best: creative and strategic thinking.
By managing reams of information with an unprecedented level of intelligence, these technologies will endow the Extrasensory Enterprise with the power to be predictive, proactive, and self-learning.
For more information about the Extrasensory Enterprise and how it will transform a wide variety of industries, read this point-of-view paper from Cisco IBSG.