December 28, 2022

Global data to increase to 180 zettabytes by 2025

Global data to increase to 180 zettabytes by 2025

…predicts 6 data trends to watch out in 2023

By Juliet Umeh

A South-African based-data Technology Company, PBT Group has predicted that the total amount of data created and consumed globally is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes, ZB by 2025, and almost three times the 64 zettabytes of 2020.

A zettabyte is a unit of digital information storage used to denote the size of data.

Data is an important business success in every economy and importantly in a country like Nigeria. Data is any set of characters that is gathered and translated for some purpose, usually analysis. Without data insights, most businesses simply fly blind and when armed with core data on business activities, they can chart a course for continued growth and prosperity.

Also, data-driven describes a strategic process of leveraging insights from data to identify new business opportunities, better serve customers, grow sales, and improve operations and more. It allows organizations to use evidence-based data to make decisions and plan carefully to pursue business objectives.

The Head of Innovation and Services at PBT Group, Mr. Andreas Bartsch, said that increasingly, data science and analytics will be an integral component of organisational procedures in 2023 and beyond.

He explained that this makes data the cornerstone of any successful business in a digitally-transformed world noting that the key to success will be in unlocking the potential of the data available to companies, regardless of industry, sector or organisation.

Bartsch predicted several trends that will help guide organisations on their path to becoming more data-driven.

The trends:

*Data Democratisation: According to him, “Organisations have long acknowledged the importance of data and analytics in their quest to increase revenue, reduce expenses, and continuously optimise operational efficiencies. It has now also been recognised that to best achieve this, all employees must have access to appropriate insights in their day-to-day roles.

“Whilst monthly or weekly reporting to managers and executives is still relevant, employees must be empowered by information on a near real-time basis. This will equip them with the insights necessary to become more independent and less reliant on other team members for guidance.”

*Artificial Intelligence: “AI has become part of our lives even though remaining largely unnoticed.

 Through advanced algorithms and supporting technology, its utilisation will continue to have a significant impact. Improved client interaction, the reduction of manual processes, proactive maintenance, and even communication in human language, complemented by the processing of visual information, are just some examples of AI applications.”

*Cloud and Data-as-a-Service: Although many organisations have ventured into the cloud, the associated complexities, multitude of technologies, and challenges related to unpredictable costs have not been fully grasped.

He said: “Whilst the benefits of the cloud cannot be argued, there are still many uncertainties when it comes to optimal utilisation of the services, technologies, and cost-efficient management thereof. The Data-as-a-Service concept also touches on the issue of data monetisation – the act of generating measurable economic benefits from available data sources. Data and its associated insights can augment any organisation’s existing data assets.”

Real-Time Data: “The need for real-time data or more realistically, near real-time data, has been clearly expressed in the data strategies of numerous organisations. With the mentioned impact of AI, the latter will increase the pressure on having access to up-to-date data, especially given the huge volumes of data at a company’s disposal.

“Notwithstanding the many use cases where ‘real-time’ data is critical, it must be considered that the latter usually comes at a price tag. It is therefore important that the organisation has evaluated the business case, and most importantly, has the supporting processes in place to react to and act on near real-time data. By doing so, the company can ensure it gets the most benefit from the advanced data analytical capabilities put into place.”

Data Governance and Regulation: “The matter of data governance has been on the agendas of many organisations for several years. Unfortunately, although the intentions and objectives are unanimously agreed upon, the execution of establishing the supporting structures and processes have been lacking. As data volumes exponentially increase and data strategies receive executive attention, it has become non-negotiable to simply get this right.

“This is further emphasised by the complexities introduced through regulatory compliance ultimatums posed by governments across the globe. However, this provides an opportunity to address the data ownership challenge – using ‘data governance’ as a driver to establish the necessary ownership structure can address both challenges and will contribute to a data-driven culture. If anything, the complexity of the regulatory environment provides a framework in which the business can operate to get the most value from its information.” Shifting momentum: “Other technology-related trends to consider include the metaverse, advanced blockchain applications, the data fabric, and being closer to the edge through the Internet of Things (IoT). But before this can come into play, data must be captured and analysed correctly. Next year will very much be about getting the basics right.

“Even though companies will increasingly look to appoint data scientists, the role of the data engineer will remain hugely in demand as an enabler of all these trends,” concludes Bartsch.