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Big data: A global revolution?

Big data is transforming the storage industry, how we do business and even how we live our lives.

According to a Gartner Survey in 2013, organisations in the Asia/Pacific area are aggressively pursuing big data investments, with 45 per cent indicating that they plan to invest in big data within the next two years.

In North America, 38 per cent of organisations surveyed said they have already invested in big data technology with more planning to adopt big data in the future. Latin America is also adopting big data with 51 per cent of nations undertaking a big data initiative.

These numbers show that the impact of big data isn't limited to a particular country, industry or just the hype on tech news sites.

If all of the technical lingo, security questions and relational vs. Hadoop debates have left you feeling a little overwhelmed, take a step back and look at the big picture at how big data is transforming the world.

Latin America

Like other regions, big data has sprouted several startups in Latin American countries that provide big data services and are growing rapidly thanks to companies' adoption of big data. For example, Aentropico, a startup based in Brazil, is creating a predictive analytics platform that will provide a user-friendly platform for interpreting data for new business insights.

A startup based in Peru called Papaya uses real time data for its platform for online and mobile movie ticket sales, and Dipoo, also in Peru, has a mobile marketing app that uses geolocation data to analyse consumer behaviour and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Telcos is the industry leading the way in adoption with many others not far behind, such as governments seeking surveillance solutions and retailers looking for better intelligence about their customers.


When you consider the population of countries like India and China, it's no surprise that these places are impacted by big data. With a population of 1.3 billion people, China creates a huge amount of data, especially since access to Internet and smartphones is increasing. Due to this, the Chinese government has offered its support to Chinese enterprises seeking to adopt big data technology, and many businesses have already begun to do just that (as the numbers above suggest).

For example, Alibaba, one of China's largest internet retailers, has recently restructured to create a data platform division of 800 employees that will focus on analysing the data created on its e-commerce site.

China's Research institute of Highway Ministry of Transport is developing its own big data platform to help provide better taxi service in major Chinese cities. The platform will analyse data to provide real-time insights into traffic patterns, as well as operational analysis for taxis, buses and rail to better match the needs of consumers.


Big data companies have sprung up in Europe as well. Radoop offers an interface for ETL, analytics and visualisation of big data. DataSift, based in the US and the UK, aggregates and processes social data for businesses, and atbrox offers support in data analysis and data mining with Hadoop.

Between 2012 and 2017 the adoption of big data analytics in the UK is projected to increase from 14 per cent to 29 per cent, and the number of big data specialists working for large firms is projected to increase 243 per cent.

The global impact of big data analytics around the world is inspiring. The rapid adoption of big data technology from hive to pig as a service demonstrates just how thirsty the business world is for better business intelligence, and big data fills that need.

Gil Allouche is the vice president of marketing at Qubole. Gil began his marketing career as a product strategist at SAP while earning his MBA at Babson College and is a former software engineer.