This cartoon was posted on the screen at a recent BigData Guru meetup. “Data is the new oil.” While this concept was first stated in 2006, it’s still very relevant today, especially with explosion of the internet, mobile, IoT, and the multitude of tools for people to generate content and to enable transactions of all types. IBM indicated in 2013 that 90% of the world’s data was generated in the last 2 years.
The premise is that much of data from email, tweets, IM, Facebook posts, Google searches, Amazon purchases, Ebay transactions, mobile and IoT sensor data, retail transactions could be mined for value, analogous to crude oil being processed and refined into gasoline and other ingredients to make plastic and other materials. The value of the data could result in better targeting of customers to buy the right products, in better understanding of the environment from sensor data to increase productivity, such as increasing crop production or solar energy yield. The possibilities seem endless.
All the while, both the companies extracting the value from the data and the vendors producing tools and equipment (e.g. data center servers and storage) to enable this extraction are being rewarded handsomely with $$$. Data is the new oil.