Big Data: it’s not just a matter of many ones and zeros

Can you imagine carrying your entire life on a flash drive? Consider it on a global scale. That everything that you have ever done or experienced in your world can be summed up in ones and zeros. Consider all the economic, social and political relationships in our time. And that this data may be used, in the future, to make your life simpler and even save it!


In many cases, Big Data is an unknown, abstract term even causing panic the first time it is heard. However, this incredible explosion of data that we are witnessing is also the great evolutionary leap of our generation, of this era. Owing to improved knowledge about everything that is happening around us, man of the 21st century will be as empowered as were the first hominids when they discovered fire, changing both the way we think and the way we react to environmental challenges.


Not surprisingly, last year, the volume of data being handled worldwide was 2.7 Zettabytes. It may not seem very impressive but it is more so if we consider that this figure is nothing more and nothing less than 27,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. In order to situate ourselves, a diskette from those people who used the first personal computers only stored 1.4 Mb of data, 14,000,000 bytes, while the CDs that still proliferate nowadays allow up to 700 Mb, 700,000,000 bytes to be stored.


Thus, these ones and zeros allow organizations to get to know their consumers better, users know more about all the products and services that they purchase while doctors have more information when diagnosing and treating their patients. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Telefónica is supporting companies in Spain, so that they may take advantage of the capabilities and possibilities that Big Data offers to provide better services, improved quality and with the greatest possible savings. In fact, last year, Telefónica launched Dynamic Insights, a new global business unit of Big Data. The first product of this unit, “Smart Steps”, has been designed so that shops and businesses can efficiently manage the number of people in their establishments. And others will come…stay tuned!



Alberto Iglesias Fraga, Account Executive at INDIE PR



Chema Alonso

Chief Data Officer, Telefonica.