Big data represents the growing volume of information on the web that’s most often leveraged by business owners to improve audience targeting. IBM notes that people create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day, and that 90 percent of the information that exists online today has been created in the past two years.

The proliferation of big data stems from consumers’ frequent use of the internet. From Twitter and email to product research, various activities add to the web’s big data surplus, and the more brands can find ways to use these insights for smarter marketing, the larger their profit margins will grow.

Big data is defined as volume, velocity, variety and veracity. Some compelling stats that speak to those dimensions are listed below:

  • Volume: The 12 terabytes of Tweets created every day can improve product sentiment analysis.
  • Velocity: Brands can analyze 500 million daily call detail records to forecast churn and minimize bottom lines impacts.
  • Variety: The 80 percent data growth in visual content over the past two years opens opportunities for companies to expand their internet marketing programs.
  • Veracity: Businesses can trust their decisions more when supported by data they’ve compiled themselves.

In some instances, big data refers to the actual information on the web, and in others it represents a booming industry. Businesses may not yet realize how they can leverage big data for their own professional gains, but it inevitably will become an increasingly important aspect of content and social media analytics in the near future.