How to See the Potential of Big Data – Literally

The folks at Get Satisfaction, a social CRM firm, have posted an awesome infographic on their blog called “Exploding Data: The Potential of Big Data.”

In keeping with its subject, Big Data, this is one Big Infographic. It illustrates all sorts of things, such as the pieces of content shared everyday on Facebook (4 billion), how much data the U.S. Library of Congress has accumulated (235 terabytes), and the amount of data stored by each of 17 different business sectors sector (Discrete Manufacturing has the most, with 966 petabytes).

The coolest part of the infographic is the middle section, “What is This Data Worth?” As the text on the infographic explains: “Simply knowing that all this data is out there is one thing. Utilizing this data to turn a profit is another issue. Using big data has the potential to increase profitability across all sectors.”

For example, the infographic shows that the use of Big Data could be worth $300 billion to the healthcare sector over the next 10 years in reduced costs and could cut current healthcare expenditures by the U.S. government by 8 percent. Big Data has the potential to reduce Europe’s public sector costs by 20 percent, saving 300 billion euros. And continued adoption of Big Data by the manufacturing sector has the potential to cut their operating costs by nearly 50 percent.

The infographic was designed by Column Five Media using data from McKinsey Global Institute’s recent report, “Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity” (May 2011). It’s a visually appealing way to see where Big Data is leading us—and why it’s a journey worth taking.

What are some uses you have for Big Data? Where is the untapped potential in your organization? I’d love to know more – send me a tweet/DM (@Isilon_Nick) or look for me at SIGGRAPH 2011 (in Vancouver, BC.)

About the Author: Nick Kirsch