Every day human beings eat, sleep, work, play, and produce data—lots and lots of data. According to IBM, the human race generates 2.5 quintillion (25 billion billion) bytes of data every day. That’s the equivalent of a stack of DVDs reaching to the moon and back, and encompasses everything from the texts we send and photos we upload to industrial sensor metrics and machine-to-machine communications.
That’s a big reason why “big data” has become such a common catch phrase. Simply put, when people talk about big data, they mean the ability to take large portions of this data, analyze it, and turn it into something useful.