Big Data presents both challenges and opportunities to the federal government. In fact, Big Data is probably the primary way government will enhance services to citizens over the next five to 10 years. The problem, of course, is that the data is so massive (and growing every day) that agencies can’t keep up. And the tools and resources needed to turn Big Data into actionable deliverables are expensive. Luckily, as budgets shrink, computing power is growing almost exponentially. There are a number of factors at play, and although challenges will always be present, Big Data is too big an opportunity to ignore.
For example, more than 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day. Each image carries EXIF metadata, such as location, camera type, exposure, aperture and megapixels. Each photo is a collection of data, and hidden within the massive database of photos and metadata is a story about the users, the camera manufacturers and the social networking sites. If manipulated correctly, organizations could find deep insight into the trends that will predict the future of photography. The same is true for many other types of data, including the data that will power future government services:
The full report can be viewed below, but here are 18 of the most astonishing numbers:5 billion Global mobile phone users 2.4 billion Global Internet users in 2012 1.5 billion Global smartphone users 1.1 billion Global active Facebook users, 68 percent of whom are on mobile devices 1 billion Miles driven with the Waze app open each month 500 million+ Total photos uploaded to Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Flickr daily 244 million American Internet users in 2012 38 million User-generated reviews on Yelp 150 Times per day mobile phone users checks their devices 100 Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute 88% Share of American-made mobile operating systems 78% Americans who are Internet users 15% Share of total Internet traffic coming from mobile devices 14 Countries who share more information online than the United States 9-fold Increase in digital information created and shared over the last five years 8 Of the top ten Internet properties in the world are American websites 3x iPad growth rate compared to iPhone 3 Years it took for tablets to outsell desktops and laptops