Big data: definition, benefits, challenges (infographics)
Learn more about what big data is and what the benefits and challenges are for people, businesses and the environment.
Our use of electronic devices is increasing and production processes are becoming ever more digitalised. This means that vast quantities of digital data are generated daily in the economy and by people's personal and social activities. The European Commission forecasts the total global amount of data will grow 530% by 2025 compared to 2018.
Data is an important part of the EU's digital transformation. Artificial intelligence, an EU priority, relies on data and its development depends on how data will be managed in Europe.
Data is also an integral part of the digital services that shape our everyday lives and the economy. Parliament is working on data legislation to ensure people, businesses, recovery and the green transition benefit from an efficient data strategy.
Read more about AI opportunities and what the Parliament wants.
What is big data?
Big data refers to collected data sets that are so large and complex that they require new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to process. The data comes from many different sources. Often they are of the same type, for example, GPS data from millions of mobile phones is used to mitigate traffic jams; but it can also be a combination, such as health records and patients' app use. Technology enables this data to be collected very fast, in near real time, and get analysed to get new insights.
Where does big data come from?
- Big data can be produced by people: in mobile apps, on the web, including social media and commercial transactions, e-government records…
- It can also be generated by machines and collected through sensors in objects linked to the Internet of Things, including smart cars, factories, GPS satellites and satellites collecting weather data etc.
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