One reason for this is the sheer volume of data being maintained by large enterprises. Last year, McKinsey & Co. concluded that it was not unusual for large U.S. corporations to have more data stored than the U.S. Library of Congress. How much data is that? Well, according to the library, its collection fills more than 800 miles of bookshelves.
And that data must be accessible if the companies acquiring it are to get real value from it. McKinsey last year also had something to say about just how much value big data could represent :
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"... a retailer using big data to the full could increase its operating margin by more than 60%. Harnessing big data in the public sector has enormous potential, too. If US healthcare were to use big data creatively and effectively to drive efficiency and quality, the sector could create more than $300 billion in value every year. Two-thirds of that would be in the form of reducing US healthcare expenditure by about 8%. In the developed economies of Europe, government administrators could save more than 100 billion ($149 billion) in operational efficiency improvements alone by using big data, not including using big data to reduce fraud and errors and boost the collection of tax revenues."