According to current assessments, by 2025 the world will be producing 463 exabytes of data every day. That’s 463,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. Per DAY.

By Jim Willsher

It’s 27 years since I left university, and I don’t recall an exabyte even existing as a measure back then, and if it did then it was probably only used to count grains of sand in the Sahara. Where is all this data, and how can we produce so much of it? More importantly, how can we manage it, and how can we leverage it?

Coming closer to home, most businesses will be dealing with data volumes which are ever so slightly less overwhelming, but that data still needs to be managed, and unless it can be harnessed, it serves little purpose.

In my previous blog, I wrote about how many companies have a diverse landscape of several “best of breed” systems, and being able to report across those multiple systems in a coherent way can be a challenge. If all those systems are churning out huge volumes of data, it’s easy to drown in it.

Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management (F&SCM), Microsoft’s established and capable ERP platform, has recently been enhanced to allow export directly to Microsoft’s Data Lake, held secure in their Azure cloud offering. Data Lakes allow storage of both structured and unstructured data, with no capacity limitations. Enabling F&SCM’s export capability brings it into line with their other Dynamics 365 products, such as the client-engagement application Dynamics 365 CE. Both applications can now export to the Data Lake, providing unparalleled access to leverage and consume that data.

Microsoft’s data analytics and visualization tool Power BI, for example, can take this data and allow businesses to tame it. Whether you have gigabytes or petabytes of data – or even exabytes – the Data Lake contents can be consumed by Power BI and distilled down into a plethora of analytical dashboards, combining the data from both F&SCM and CE, to provide a single lens onto that all-important sea of transactional data.

The prediction mentioned earlier, of 463 exabytes daily, is estimated to happen in 2025. That’s really not that far away, and I don’t think anyone would be surprised if it came sooner. And what about predictions for 2030 or 2040 or 2050? I think before those predictions can happen, we’ll need some new words in the dictionary.