Over the next eight years more than 40 zettabytes of digital data will be produced, which is equal to 5,200 GBytes of data for every person on Earth, according to IDC's latest Digital Universe study. A majority of the data will be produced by machines as they talk to each other over data networks, including machine sensors and smart devices communicating with each other.
By 2020, up to 33 percent of all data will contain information that might be valuable if analyzed, according to IDC. The study notes that business intelligence techniques could help analyze the data, revealing patterns in social media use, correlations in scientific data from discrete studies, and medical information combined with sociological data. "Herein is the promise of 'big data' or MapReduce technology — the extraction of value from the large untapped pools of data in the digital universe," IDC says.
The study also predicts that the number of servers worldwide will grow 10-fold by the end of the decade and the amount of information managed directly by enterprise data centers will grow by a factor of 14. In addition, the study estimates that about 33 percent of all data requires some type of protection, either to safeguard personal privacy, adhere to regulations, or prevent digital theft.
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA