The McKinsey Institute has released a new report entitled: Big data: The next frontier for innovation, competition, and productivity.
Big data—large pools of data that can be captured, communicated, aggregated, stored, and analyzed—is now part of every sector and function of the global economy. Like other essential factors of production such as hard assets and human capital, it is increasingly the case that much of modern economic activity, innovation, and growth simply couldn’t take place without data. The question is what this phenomenon means. Is the proliferation of data simply evidence of an increasingly intrusive world? Or can big data play a useful economic role? While most research into big data thus far has focused on the question of its volume, our study makes the case that the business and economic possibilities of big data and its wider implications are important issues that business leaders and policy makers must tackle. To inform the debate, this study examines the potential value that big data can create for organizations and sectors of the economy and seeks to illustrate and quantify that value. We also explore what leaders of organizations and policy makers need to do to capture it.