IDC: Less than 1 percent of world's data being analyzed

As the digital universe reaches 40 zettabytes in 2020, it will have increased 50-fold since 2010.
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If value is derived from the volume of data produced, then in eight years, emerging markets will be more valuable than developed ones based on which market will produce the most data. That's when analysts from IDC say emerging markets will supplant the rest of the world as leaders in producing data.

However, it is plain to see that volume is not the main component of value when it comes to data. The value is in the analysis and today, less than one percent of the world's data is being analyzed. The IDC study, "Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East," finds that little "big data potential" is being realized globally. As the digital universe reaches 40 zettabytes by 2020, it will have increased 50-fold since 2010. IDC recently raised its forecast by 5 ZB.

Unfortunately, the data isn't receiving the necessary protection in terms of replication, storage and security. Less than a third of data required such protection in 2010, but IDC expects that to exceed 40 percent by 2020.

IDC also found that machine-generated data will be a key growth sector and increase 15 times by 2020. By then, there will be 5,247 GB per person worldwide. The investment in spending on IT hardware, software, services, telecommunications and staff to support all this growth will grow by 40 percent by 2020. Investment in targeted areas like storage management, security, big data, and cloud computing will grow considerably faster.

IDC says that for the first time,  it captured where the information in the digital universe either originated or was first captured or consumed. After six years of research in this area, its research now includes the "Big Data Gap," which is the gap between the amount of data with hidden value and the amount of value that is actually being extracted. It also looks at the level of data protection required versus what is being delivered, and the geographic implications of the world's data.

One problem it identified is that the majority of new data is largely untagged file-based and unstructured data, which means little is known about it. This year, 23 percent of the digital universe will be useful for big data, if it is tagged and analyzed, but only 3 percent actually is tagged, and only 0.5 percent is analyzed. By 2020, it anticipates that 33 percent of the digital universe will have big data value if it is tagged and analyzed.

In what it calls a geographic role reversal, emerging markets will go from accounting for 23 percent of the digital universe, as it did in 2010, to 62 percent in 2020.

For more:
- see EMC's Digital Universe

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