Chasing the Customer _ What is Big Data Anyway?

  1. Humans produce 5 zettabytes of data each year.
  2. The average person’s data footprint on a global per capita basis is just a little short of one terabyte.

Big Data is one of those marketing buzz words in use every day, these days. If anyone mentions big data in a meeting, article, memo, conversation, the majority of us ‘donkey nod’ in an apparent acquiescence of understanding.

But really  – What is Big Data Anyway?

If you wrote out all five zettabytes of data that humans produce each year by hand, your written record of 1’s and 0’s would reach to the galactic core of the Milky Way.

If you wrote out the one terabyte data footprint that the average person produces each year, all the 1’s and o’s that make up a byte, would extend to Saturn and back – 25 times. [Thanks to Erez Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel for figuring this all out.]

How will we, or the machines we create, handle all that data? Futurist Ray Kurzweil has noted that the rate at which computer chips are getting more powerful, suggests that by 2045, an ordinary computer will have more processing power than all of mankind’s brains put together.

To really execute a ‘Chasing the Customer ‘or one-to-one marketing strategy, you have to have customer specific data. Bundle all of the data of all of your customers – you have a lot of 1’s and 0’s or Big Data. Imagine traveling to Saturn and back 25 times. Then imagine having to travel to the core of the Milky Way. Kinda overwhelms one’s comprehension.

Anyway – that’s what Big Data is.

[Personal Note: By the time 2045 rolls around, I am sure I will be long gone into the ether. But some of my 23 year-old friends will be in their prime. I am often reminded these days that Google will remember every word that was posted on the Internet. If so, in 2045, some former friend might remember this blog and post an addendum as to whether or not Kurzweil was right.]


3 Responses to “Chasing the Customer _ What is Big Data Anyway?”
  1. Priscilla Berry says:

    I read that by 2050, the scientist who are now working on the project, will be able to download the human brain.



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