IDC estimates that the amount of digital information being produced worldwide is doubling every two years, growing from about 3.6 zettabytes this year to 57.6 zettabytes by 2021. One gigabyte has 9 zeros- one zettabyte has 21 zeros.

Today “Big Data” is the catch-all term defining today’s explosive data growth in all markets, all sectors, all countries, everywhere. And in some sectors - such as healthcare - we know if we can unlock the secrets that lie in Big Data, we may find new treatments to fight disease; reduce insurance claims fraud; improve the success of clinical trials for new drug development; and many other benefits.

Acceleration of Electronic Health Records (“EHRs”) is fueling the growth of Big Data in health care providing a valuable resource to help reshape today’s healthcare system.

Looking closer at our healthcare sector, McKinsey & Co. noted that we spend more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined: Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia. Total healthcare costs are almost 20 percent of our GDP. And studies confirm the sobering fact that despite our high healthcare costs, successful outcomes and satisfaction with our system ranks lower than many industrialized nations.

”If US healthcare were to use big data creatively and effectively to drive efficiency and quality, the sector could create more than $300 billion in value every year. Two-thirds of that would be in the form of reducing US healthcare expenditure by about 8 percent...”

- McKinsey & Co.

But the Big Data revolution also presents challenges for all organizations in all sectors seeking to leverage this powerful resource. So what is the key to unlock the potential of the Big Data revolution?

The answer: Analytics. And we are seeing explosive growth in the analytics sector, creating exciting new Analytics solutions helping organizations improve operations and performance. But Analytics only provides part of the solution. You need to understand how Analytics impacts and drives your organization. And that means understanding, with precision, your organization’s business processes.