Data’s more influential than ever, but just how much data is there? In The Wide World of Data, we dig into astonishing facts and trends about the size and growth of the datasphere, how data is being used, and how it truly makes up the entire world around us.

We’re in the midst of a new era in human and social development: the data revolution. It’s dramatically changing the way we live and work and it’s even altering life on the most personal level: human relations. But just how significant is the data revolution, really? In our partnership with Google, we set about to help you understand the data that makes up your own corner of the world, now let’s look at how data affects the rest of the planet!

What’s the influence of Big Data?

Billions of us use connected devices at home and at work, and we all generate masses of data. It’s estimated that around 65% of the world’s population is already connected and interacts with data every day. This number is projected to rise to 75% by 2025. Together, we’re currently creating about 44 zettabytes of data annually and this volume will increase nearly fourfold by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum.

Our personal use of data

The influence of data on our world is inescapable. Many of our transactions — both essential and non-essential — are now digital. Every click of a mouse or swipe on our smartphones creates data about our personal finances, our health and wellness and our purchasing behavior. We consume information at a breathtaking rate — 5 billion internet searches per day. Even how we move is increasingly data-driven. For example, it is predicted that approximately 70 percent of vehicles and trucks will be connected to the Internet by 2023, generating 4 terabytes of data each. And of course, how we communicate with each other has been transformed by digital media. That’s 294 billion emails, 65 billion WhatsApp messages, 500 million tweets, 4 petabytes of data on Facebook created each day, and more.

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Data at work: business, government, and others

Global businesses, governments, and other organizations are using data to trade, communicate, influence, and implement new initiatives that re-shape their offerings, their policies, and society itself. Data is at the heart of this process, informing these bodies what to do, who to address and how to be successful. It’s so significant that in 2014, the UN established its Data Revolution Group to recommend how data can optimize its role as a force for good in sustainable development. In a recent report, the group concluded that: “Better data and statistics will help governments track progress and make sure their decisions are evidence-based; they can also strengthen accountability. This is not just about governments. International agencies, CSOs, and the private sector should be involved. A true data revolution would draw on existing and new sources of data to fully integrate statistics into decision making, promote open access to, and use of, data and ensure increased support for statistical systems.” 

Better data and statistics will help governments track progress and make sure their decisions are evidence-based; they can also strengthen accountability. This is not just about governments. International agencies, CSOs and the private sector should be involved. A true data revolution would draw on existing and new sources of data to fully integrate statistics into decision making, promote open access to, and use of, data and ensure increased support for statistical systems

UN Data Revolution Group, High Level Panel Report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The global challenge: harnessing the power of data

Clearly, data can be extremely powerful, so the major challenge of this era is how to gather, protect, organize, and analyze data, so we can discover the best insights that inform us how to enhance the way we live and work together. 

At Sisense, it’s this challenge that gets us out of bed in the morning. We focus all of our energy on creating analytics technology that maximizes the accessibility of data to all. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Google to introduce the Google Sheets Analytics template built by Sisense. Our vision is to make data, analytics, and insights available to everyone, irrespective of technical expertise. Together with Google, we’re giving power back to the users, and we’re making our vision of bringing insights to everyone a reality.

To give you some idea of the magnitude of this challenge, let’s consider some numbers about the wide world of data that might take your breath away . . .

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Adam Murray began his career in corporate communications and PR in London and New York before moving to Tel Aviv. He’s spent the last ten years working with tech companies like Amdocs, Gilat Satellite Systems, and Allot Communications. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and when he’s not spending time with his wife and son, he’s preoccupied with his beloved football team, Tottenham Hotspur.

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