History continues to teach us that regardless of the advances we make with science, technology and society new buzzwords, trendy technologies and “hip” ideas are continuously emerging. However, predicting the “next big thing” is no easy task.   It seems obvious now but 20 years ago we did not know that it would be nearly impossible to function without a smartphone.  On the opposite end of spectrum, many “visionaries” were shocked that the Segway became a transportation flop.   Where does “Big Data” fall on that spectrum?  The existence and growth of Big Data is a fact.  However, more importantly Big Data enables new possibilities for predictive analytics – an essential business tool. In other words, Big Data is here to stay.

Before falling short of success, the Segway had stamps of approval from big names in the technology industry—how can we be so sure that Big Data has a permanent place in modern business?  For one, “Big Data” should be more accurately named “Gigantic and Rapidly Expanding Data.”  Ninety percent of the data existing in the world was created in 2012 and 2013 alone. In the future, this is set to expand even more, with a 50-fold growth of exabytes over the next ten years.  For an idea of how enormous that is, consider this: 1 exabyte= 1 billion gigabytes, or the space on about 62.5 million smartphones. Big Data is big, and will keep getting bigger.

The true value of Big Data in business, however, lies in the ability to harness the power of “the variable” and use it to answer our most difficult organizational questions. The mass amounts of data makes this seem like a daunting task, but the innovation of data processing platforms like Hadoop and the accessibility of predictive analytics technologies make it much more feasible. Additionally, predictive analytics consulting and implementation services are available, making it even easier to augment your business decisions. Big Data is becoming an integral function across organizations, for efficiency, marketing, and real-time predictive solutions. It has the promise of boosting success long-term—Forbes reported that Fortune 1000 companies could increase their revenue by $2 billion a year if they learned to increase their data usability by 10%.

Big Data is here and we have the tools to leverage it—so take advantage of them now and get ahead of everyone else in the race, because like a 60’s Mustang, Big Data will never go out of style.