Data is not information unless you can find it. But information can’t be applied to knowledge in the absence of the means by which to use it. Access must yield meaningful information in order to turn bits of code into valuable and actionable business information. I like to think about it this way: libraries house rich caches of data in the form of books, but finding the exact piece of information you seek requires some level of research and library science expertise. Wouldn’t it be ideal if the information you seek could somehow be collected and organized for you, in the format and context in which you want it? And wouldn’t it be even more helpful if it was assembled for you, not just from the local collection, but from libraries in Singapore, Milan, Minneapolis and Copenhagen? Some early examples of this new approach to information management illuminate its enormous possibilities
Being buried in data isn’t a new problem, but the issue has grown exponentially in recent years, as more and more data pours through corporate networks and the Internet. IDG recently dubbed this phenomenon the “digital big bang,” and a quick look at data growth shows why. In digital terms, 161 exabytes (or 161 billion gigabytes) of information was created, captured and replicated in 2006. But by 2010, this number will explode to an estimated 988 exabytes. Much of this data will be created by you and me, individuals. IDC found that 70 percent of the data is created by end users and over the Web. In one day, YouTube streams more than 100 million videos, while 1 billion MP3 files are shared over the Internet daily. The increasing convenience and ubiquity of digital devices also add to the explosion.
Web 2.0 flips the information delivery model upside down–it’s now about global access, and information at your fingertips, aggregated from sources that you don’t even necessarily know about, or care where they exist. Based on a set of search criteria, information in all its rich forms–media, video, audio, images, documents, text–all will be assembled together in context and delivered to users and applications for real-time experience….As information is effectively harnessed, hidden insights will appear that were previously buried in mountains of unorganized data, and more and smarter discoveries will result.
Read this perspective from EMC’s Chief Development Officer Mark Lewis (via C|Net)