Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Big Data: Where Korea Fits in the Global Picture

This post deals with the burgeoning field referred to as "Big Data."  Last October the McKinsey Quarterly published an article entitled "Are you ready for the era of 'big data'?"  It included the accompanying graphic (click to see a full size version) and noted that the amount of data collected, integrated and analyzed by organizations and businesses has exploded.  It noted that "In 15 of the US economy’s 17 sectors, companies with more than 1,000 employees store, on average, over 235 terabytes of data—more data than is contained in the US Library of Congress. Reams of data still flow from financial transactions and customer interactions but also cascade in at unparalleled rates from new devices and multiple points along the value chain."  The graphic charts the ease of capturing data against its potential value for a large number of industries, represented by the different sized circles.
The McKinsey article made me wonder where South Korea fits within the broader global trends toward "big data."   The McKinsey report presumably refers primarily to data stored or interpreted in the English language and we might assume that language is a major factor in "big data."
My question about Korea led me, more or less directly, to the web site of the Oxford Internet Institute and its interesting section on "visualizing data."  After all, one of the difficulties with massive amounts of data is the challenge of how to present and interpret them for analysis, using text or pictures.  The graphic below shows where Korea fits in the global picture as measured by "journals published" and their "average impact factor."  Again, as with the McKinsey report, it is apparent that the graphic below is based largely, if not entirely, on English language data.   Koreans and those interested in Korea will find some of the other visualizations provided by the Oxford Internet Institute quite interesting.

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