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Exponentially Growing Big Data

The Met Office is considered to be the most comprehensive weather and climate service in the world. It processes around a petabyte – that’s one million gigabytes – of data every day and has a data store that already stands at over 60 petabytes, and is growing exponentially. Data doesn’t get much bigger than this today – and CIO Charles Ewen wants even more of it to ensure the organization can meet its stated mission of working at the forefront of weather and climate science for the protection, prosperity and wellbeing of the environment, economy and citizens of the UK.

Big data and privacy seem to be at odds. Providing data to companies creates modern day conveniences, but it also allows businesses to see too much into our everyday consumer lives.

Imagine a world where civic life is transformed by a perfect storm of converging technologies – most notably ubiquitous high-speed cloud and smartphones – a slew of Internet-connected sensors, controllers and other devices (the Internet of Things), plus intelligent tools for aggregating and analyzing the huge volumes of big data that these devices will generate, often in real time. This is the idea behind smart cities.