Mobile a main driver of big data challenges, opportunities

Data surely existed before the launch of Apple’s iPhone in June 2007, but the advent of the mobile era has created an exponential growth in data, much of it never before available to enterprises.

Results from a recent CSC Data rEvolution report (signup required) show data growing from 0.79 zetabytes in 2009 to 35.0 zetabytes by 2020. Further, 70 percent of all data is now being created by individuals, thanks not only to mobile devices, but to social media and geo-location technology.

For consumer-based businesses especially, mobile technology presents tremendous opportunities to better understand customers by enabling the collection of location data, search histories and even social media information.

But without the proper tools for storing and analyzing mobile data, enterprises will leave a lot of value on the table. In a digital economy where success increasingly is based on speed and individualization, failure to leverage mobile data can cripple an enterprise.

Fortunately, the explosion of data has been met by improvements in data center storage technology and the growth of big data analytics. As flash storage continues to drop in price, more enterprises are moving frequently accessed data off slower magnetic hard-disk drives. They’re also using analytics software and services to mine data for insights into customer preferences and behavior patterns, mobile employee efficiency, and operations.

While it sometimes seems that everybody has a mobile phone, less than 70% of the global population will own one by 2017, eMarketer estimates. Mobile phone adoption may be slowing, but millions of new users will be generating data over the next few years. And as mobile payments become more popular — and mobile apps use becomes even more widespread — the challenges and opportunities surrounding mobile data will grow.

 

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