The value of data: forecast to grow 10-fold by 2025

The 10-fold rise in worldwide data by 2025 forecast by IDC shows that the data journey for organisations is just beginning. Collecting, storing, analysing and utilising this metric gold will aid innovation and in turn, drive businesses into the competitive future.

This meteoric rise of data will provide immeasurable opportunities for companies to gain advantage in the market, but they must be prepared. The global data and storage organisation, Seagate, shares this view and following IDC’s report, is advising business leaders and entrepreneurs to amplify their focus on the mega trends driving data growth over the next several years. This will be necessary for businesses to examine the future value of data from creation, collection, utilisation and management.

>See also: Big data vs. privacy: the big balancing act

The IDC white paper, predicted that data creation will swell to a total of 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. This indicates that the decade centred around the conversion of analog data to digital is being replaced by an era focused on the value of data: creating, utilising, and managing ‘life critical’ data necessary for the smooth running of daily life for consumers, governments and businesses alike.

Consumers and businesses creating, sharing and accessing data between any device and the cloud will continue to grow well beyond previous expectations, suggested the report.

Further, whereas once consumers were the primary creators of the bulk of the world’s data, the white paper predicted this will shift, with enterprises creating 60% of the world’s data in 2025.

IDC SVP Dave Reinsel said: “From autonomous cars to intelligent personal assistants, data is the lifeblood of a rapidly growing digital existence – opening up opportunities previously unimagined by businesses. Technology innovation will be vitally important to evaluate and fully activate the intricacies of what’s contained within this large volume of data – and storage in particular will continue to grow in importance, as it provides the foundation from which so many of these emerging technologies will be served.”

Business leaders will have the opportunity to embrace new and unique business opportunities powered by this wealth of data and the insight it provides but will also need to make strategic choices on data collection, utilisation and location.

With more data comes more responsibility, however, and these business leaders (if the impending GDPR is anything to go by) will need to have the most stringent data protection policies in place.

>See also: The commercialisation of data – coming to a business near you

Driving data

Virtually every enterprise, the white paper indicated, is being affected by the major data-driving trends. Notable drivers of the shift from primarily consumer-led to enterprise-driven data include:

● The evolution of data from business background to life-critical. By 2025, nearly 20% of the data in the global data sphere will be critical to people’s daily lives and nearly 10% of that will be hypercritical.

● Embedded systems and the Internet of Things (IoT). By 2025, an average connected person anywhere in the world will interact with connected devices nearly 4,800 times per day – basically one interaction every 18 seconds.

● Machine learning changing the landscape. The IDC estimates that the amount of the global data sphere subject to data analysis will grow by a factor of 50 to 5.2 ZB in 2025.

● True mobile and real-time data. By 2025, more than a quarter of data created will be real-time in nature, and IoT real-time data will constitute over 95% of it.

● Automation and machine-to-machine technologies shifting the bulk of data creation away from traditional sources. While data creation in the previous 10 years has been characterised primarily by an increase in entertainment content, the coming decade will reflect the shift to productivity-driven and embedded data, as well as non-entertainment images and video such as surveillance and advertising.

>See also: Data is driving new skill requirements

“While we can see from this new research that the era of big data is upon us, the value of data is really not in the ‘known’, but in the ‘unknown’ where we are vastly underestimating the potentials today. What is really exciting are the analytics, the new businesses, the new thinking and new ecosystems from industries like robotics and machine-to-machine learning, and their profound social and economic impact on our society,” Seagate CEO Steve Luczo said.

“The opportunity for today’s enterprises and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to capture the value of data is tremendous, and our global business leaders will be exploring these opportunities for decades to come.”


Nominations are now open for the Tech Leaders Awards 2017, the UK’s flagship celebration of the business, IT and digital leaders driving disruptive innovation and demonstrating value from the application of technology in businesses and organisations. Nominating is free and simply: just click here to enter. Good luck!

Avatar photo

Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

Related Topics