The world is experiencing an explosion of both data quantity and the number of data sources. Analyzing all this data to uncover significant new insights, the science of "Big Data", is becoming the challenge and opportunity of the 21st century. Businesses and Governments that can harness this information and unlock new sources of knowledge will gain a significant competitive advantage, as well as creating new opportunities for jobs, productivity and human advancement. But the challenges of Big Data are significant, not only in creating the IT environments to store and analyze this data, but in finding the proper skill sets to understand and decode these new insights.
McKinsey and MGI studied Big Data across five domains—healthcare in the United States, the public sector in Europe, retail in the United States, and manufacturing and personal-location data globally. Big Data can generate new value and insight in each domain. The research offers seven key insights. For example, a retailer using Big Data analytics could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent. Harnessing Big Data insights within the public sector has enormous potential, too. If US healthcare providers were to use Big Data creatively and effectively to drive efficiency and quality, the sector could create more than $300 billion in new value every year. In the developed economies of Europe, government administrators could save more than €100 billion ($149 billion) from operational efficiency improvements alone by using Big Data analytics, in addition to using Big Data to reduce fraud and errors in the collection of tax revenues.
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Research by MGI and McKinsey's Business Technology Office examines the state of digital data and documents the significant value that can potentially be unlocked.