Data Management Turning into a Herculean Labor Issue

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    Big Data Is Creating Big Jobs: 4.4 Million By 2015

    The growth of data surpassed unfathomable long ago, and anyone who deals with data knows this. But seriously, step back from the vastness of it for a minute and consider how massive these data amounts are.

    We live in a world where cell phones have more processing power than the Apollo computers that landed us on the moon. And cell phones are far from the only devices contributing to our data gluttony.

    A few recent stats on what to expect:

    44 times—That’s the amount that data volumes will grow over current rates between 2009 and 2020, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. It’s already growing 40 percent per year.

    What does that mean for the average large company?

    76 percent—That’s how much Forrester Research estimates information grows year on year for large companies, says Google’s Enterprise Search Manager Binesh Lad. That’s a lot of data, and inevitably, it will affect productivity if it’s not handled correctly.

    25 percent—That’s the amount of time employees spend searching for information now, according to Lad. It’s a number that’s definitely made larger by silos and a lack of integration.

    50 percent—Time spent looking in five or more silos within the organization. Who knows how that number grows when you need to search externally for information? (Well. Probably Google, actually.) What’s worse, it’s often time wasted.

    38 percent—The percentage of time these employees don’t find what they’re looking for, Lad says. Again, that’s the status today. Data is growing, and much of it is unstructured data.

    40 to 50 percent—Globally, that’s how much unstructured data is growing per year, according to IDC’s research. That’s text, weblogs, emails, documents, sensor data—things that can’t really be shoved into a structured database for analysis.

    That’s Big Data for you, folks. It may be reaching its peak in the hype cycle, but like Rhett Butler, it doesn’t give a damn. It’s still going and still growing, even if you’re tired of it.

    And one of the ways it’s growing is through the Internet of Things: the sensors, devices, RFID tags, and various new gadgets that generate data and send it wirelessly machine-to-machine, by way of the Internet. I contend that the Internet of Things will take hold quickly because it’s a pretty simple concept, and the technology is actually already being used. It’s just a matter of building the business use case at this point.

    Cisco and others agree.

    $544 billion more—What Cisco predicts network connections, which includes people, processes and things, will reach in profits this year alone. Cisco says the Internet of Things is bringing more devices online at a speed of 80 things per second.

    By 2020? 250 things per second will connect to the Internet, Cisco predicts. That’s 50 billion things.

    Although the GSM Association puts that number a bit lower: 24 billion connected devices by 2020, Wired reports.

    Either way, data is growing and so will the labor it takes to store, process, clean, analyze, use and consume it. So, Happy Labor Day, IT. Rest up and forget the Zombie apocalypse. Prepare for the “data tsunami” instead.

    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson
    Loraine Lawson is a freelance writer specializing in technology and business issues, including integration, health care IT, cloud and Big Data.
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