Over the past five years, the world has witnessed an unprecedented explosion of digitized data, which is often referred to as "big data." Its potential remains alluring - and largely untapped. The data opportunity is like a diamond mine, mostly littered with rocks and dirt, but with enough gems peeking out to attract those unafraid of the hard work needed to sift through it.
'Tis the season for prognostications. Staring into the big data crystal ball one thing seems clear: We can expect to see the continuing growth of the internet; wireless networks; social media; and the number of mobile devices, sensors and other digital technology that is flooding us with new data every minute of every day.