Big Data has been with us for many, many years. Arguably, Big Data can trace its roots back to the 1880 US census.
This survey of 50 million people generated 2.5 gigabytes of data with the results being calculated using punch cards in just six weeks.
The technology boom since 1880 has created the explosive growth of data within organisations.
IBM states that data growth is running at a torrent of 2.5 exabytes per day (where an exabyte is a billion gigabytes).
Of this 90 per cent of the information has only been created in the last two years.
Since 1880, technology has created a global economy where transactions have evolved from cash to credit cards through to electronic payments. The next evolution is a digital economy where data is the new currency.
To some Big Data describes vast data sets that are too large and too complex to be processed by conventional means. Big Data has five constituent parts:
- Volume. From hundreds of terabytes to petabytes, where a petabyte is equivalent to 500 billion pages of standard printed text.
- Velocity. Up to near real time sub second delivery
- Variety. Including both structured and unstructured data
- Volatility. Hundreds of new data sources coming online from new apps, web services and social networks
- Value. The opportunity to drive new competitive insights, operating models and products based on customer insight and intelligence.
Financial organisations are of course thought of as being in the money business, but in reality they are in the data business.
The information banks hold is staggering; from credit card, ATM, and online transaction data. Banks are just realising that data is their biggest asset in the new digital economy.
The Big Data benefits for financial services organisations are immense, from identifying the profitability of customers, creating new products and new market channels, through to mining customer sentiment and understanding customer needs and desires.
The more intelligence you have on these customers, the greater insight you can apply to new products and services, driving greater impact on revenues, margin and market share.