For those of you who don’t know a lot about Big Data I’m guessing you will still have heard the phrase megabyte or gigabyte – but have you ever heard the term exabyte? Well, an exabyte is such a big number it loses meaning and this is the scale which big data works at.
Big Data is essentially a buzzword for a large amount of data which can be processed to help businesses gather better intelligence to improve its operations. It offers a window into another world where data can be analysed and used to help gain valuable insights to improve revenue and knowledge to retain customers.
Think about it. There are already over a billion mobile phones in the world at the minute which emit billions of gigabytes of data. So as the number of devices connecting to the Internet of Things grows, the data output becomes astronomical. What’s more, it is expected that more than a billion smart phones will be shipped this year all containing sensors to collect data and used for market intelligence. To put it into perspective, at the moment only 0.5% of all data is ever analysed. So the potential here is immense.
People tend to be quite scared of big data and think it is something they can just avoid. Big data isn’t just a passing trend, it’s a revolution and something that we need to embrace rather than steer away from. Don’t believe me? Well 76% of all organisations have already said they intend to increase their investment in big data over the next 3 years and 52% of businesses have said they now see big data as an opportunity rather than a threat. So there’s no denying it, big data is being adopted and those who chose to embrace it should expect to grow 53% faster than those who chose to ignore it.
As a recruiter myself, I’ve seen a number of articles recently about the affect big data is predicted to have on the recruitment industry. The dynamics of employment as we know it are going to change. Big data will enable businesses to predict which employees are likely to make or break it on the job – as you can imagine this is all the talk among HR professionals at the moment. However, we’re not quite there yet. According to statistics only 4% are actually experimenting with this data to spot the best recruits and they are mainly large multinational companies with a large turnover.
So what’s to come of all this? Well, as the ability to analyse data becomes faster and more accessible to all organisations, whatever the size, we will all start to use it in some form to profit business. It’s only matter of time before companies develop hugely intelligent computer systems and products to help with recruitment. Given the value big data products, such as recommender systems, have had in predicting trends and allowing companies to make more informed business decisions it is just inevitable.
I think the question we should be asking ourselves isn’t whether or not big data is something we think is worth using, but rather are we ready for it. Big data is coming whether we like it or not.
Anthony Birley – Digital Recruiter – Searchability