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Increasingly, top thinkers in academia and business believe that analytics, especially analytics connected with big data, is going to be a driving force in our economy and society in the next 10 to 20 years. This belief is being matched with action in the public and private sectors.
In February 2013, MIT Sloan launched a digital economy initiative to explore how digital technologies are influencing both productivity and employment, declaring, “The digitization of the economy is one of the most critical issues of our time.”1 The broad use of analytics is an important factor in the development of the emergent digital economy.
This view is supported by General Electric Company executives Peter Evans and Marco Annunziata, who argue that the “industrial Internet” — a system of machine-to-machine sensors — will add $10 trillion to $15 trillion in economic benefit to the global gross domestic product through 2030.2 GE is putting its money where its mouth is, investing $1 billion in developing the talent, software and analytic tools to better identify when machines need fixing or replacement.3
A recent study of senior executives at Fortune 500 companies found that 85% of those organizations had launched big data initiatives.4