Image by: Super Size Me, the movie

The world is getting fat…data fat that is.  We have all heard the statistics (source: Wikibon):

We’re getting fat on data.  I liken it to fast food. We cannot get enough of it and the more we consume, the fatter we get.  If we were to compare “fast data” consumption to fast food consumption, I am sure we would see some similarities.  Consider that more than one-third of the US population is obese costing over $150 Billion in healthcare and productivity costs relative to absenteeism per year – due large in part to a poor diet (e.g. fast food) and a lack of exercise. Now, businesses cannot do anything about the available data diet since “fast data” is happening outside of our control. But, when it comes to exercise, if businesses fail to effectively make use of the fast data they are consuming, they too will get data fat and stand to lose billions of dollars.

Enter what could be considered the P90X of data storage – big data.  If fast data is happening beyond our control, and we are consuming more data calories than conceptually we need, then we need to burn it off.  We need to put it to work.  We need a workout regimen.  Big data analytics could be the answer.  Whether a business has hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of terabytes of data laying around, like food, if not utilized (or burned), it turns to fat.

What happens when we exercise?  We get stronger, faster, more flexible, with more endurance.  We tend to think more clearly and creatively. We even carry ourselves with more confidence. The promises of big data offer the same results.  Businesses can be more responsive to customers and trends. They think more creatively in coming out with new products, or solving problems. In all, they become more flexible and competitive, and with a competitive advantage, they become stronger, more successful businesses.

“Super-size me” can take on an entirely different meaning.

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