LONDON – The year 2013 moved the world further into the Digital Age – a global epoch of changes whose likely impact on the world economy will be 2-3 times greater than that of the Industrial Revolution. Some 90% of the world’s total data were created in the past two years. By 2020, the quantity of stored data could be 50 times greater than it was in 2010. Many pundits regard this massive explosion of data as the new oil, even a new asset class.
This profusion of data is being fueled by the near ubiquity of the Internet. Smart phones are set to connect an additional 2-3 billion of the world’s citizens by 2020, with billions of machine sensors monitoring everything from tractors to jet engines, and further breakthroughs in computing power enabling massive increases in data storage and analysis.