Occupy this: Affordable Data Revolution!

You could call it a data revolution. There is something amazing happening before our very eyes. Massive amounts of data are being created, processed, stored, analyzed and used for profit. Many successful companies rely on massive amounts of data to design their products. For example: Facebook, Groupon, and Human Genome Sciences use enormous data sets to capitalize on the rapid technological advances in data storage and the dramatic effect this technology is having on the cost (and even the possibility) of doing business in this arena. Although data-analytics is not new; the low cost is. The scale of what is possible has been altered to such an extent that any business can get in the game of data-analytics to their competitive advantage.

We can all relate on a smaller scale to something we use daily. About a year ago I purchased a 16GB flash-drive. It cost me about $40. The same flash-drive is on sale today at Target for $24.99. In 1980 just 1GB cost roughly $210,000.00. So 16GB in 1980 would have cost me about $3.1 million.

Approximate price per gigabyte over the last 31 years:

1980: $210,000

1990: $9,000

2000: $109

2011: $0.15 (yes, that’s just 15 cents for the same gigabyte)

NPR reports on the transformation this technology is having on data-analytics and the enormous potential offered by our current and anticipated advances in technology. Companies and individuals can now all afford the awesome power of data-analytics to make their judgments more sound, more objective and to hopefully lead to better decision-making. What are you doing to capture, analyze, and succeed with this affordable technology now literally at your fingertips?


Thomas said...

What is considered an “enormous” amount of data?

Have you heard of a zettabyte?

1000 Megabytes = 1GB
1000 Gigabytes = 1TB
1000 Terabytes = 1PB
1000 Petabytes = 1EB
1000 Exabytes = 1 Zettabyte

Ya…that’s a lot of data!

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Tufte said...

Oh ... crap ... lost the comment I typed.

I laughed at Thomas' comment. There used to be a commercial ... oh around '98 or so ... some of you were probably still kids, where this gruff CEO-type says "Megabyte?", "Gigabyte?", "Terabyte!" like he's finally starting to get a clue about IT. How times have changed.

Anyway, what floors me about this area is how few students are in majors where they could take advantage of the opportunities presented in this area. This is what happens when the government subsidizes education so that the opportunity costs of lousy majors are borne by taxpayers instead of students.