We have generated a huge amount of information, which is very cheap to collect. But we are now able to see patterns and develop a new understanding of data. This gives us the potential to change our behavior.
As 80 percent of all humans own some sort of mobile phone, the amount of data we are creating is exploding. This so-called data exhaust can be just that -- exhaust and noise -- but it can also be collected and analysed, and then utilized as one of the most powerful assets in the 21st century economy.
That's the view of tech giants such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, and organizations such as the World Economic Forum. Big Data is becoming as powerful an asset as oil, and it will be the source of many high quality jobs in the near future. Amazon, for instance, has formed relationships with 350 universities around the world to train a workforce 190,000 people in the field of advanced Big Data analytics.
So given the promise of Big Data, what do we all need to know about it and how will it impact our lives? How is it changing the way we see ourselves? Should we fear it or embrace it?