Big Data Evolution: From Cave Drawings to the Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-02-13 Print this article Print
15,000 B.C.

15,000 B.C.

Lascaux Cave drawings found in what is now France use imagery to capture and depict hunting knowledge.


The world is at an inflection point in history when it comes to data-driven insight. Big data, social media, cloud computing and ever-increasing mobility bring about opportunities and challenges in gaining actionable insight. To help put the current challenge in perspective, Coveo, which focuses on unified information access, created a timeline that showcases some of the key milestones of knowledge access and transfer. It takes a look at how information sharing has evolved from drawings and scribes, to mass broadcasting, to ever-increasing amounts of data and digital content. Information creation has gone from cave drawings to where people and machines create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily. That is so much data being created so rapidly that 90 percent of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, analysts estimate. This data comes from everywhere: sensors used to gather climate information, posts to social media sites, digital pictures and videos, purchase transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals, to name a few. This slide show, taken from Coveo's perspective, looks at information sharing from the early etchings of man through big data.


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