[This article is written by our Guest Editor Dr. Wenzhe Zhou, Co-founder of Brainpage, which is a big data processing & analysis start-up, focused on cloud-based engine for time series data and sensors. The company’s Hadoop-based service provides developers and industry partners easy-to-use, scalable and flexible database and analysis solutions.]

The world’s information is growing at an incredibly rate. In 2011, 1.8 Zettabytes of data was created – enough to fill trillions of CDs that would stretch beyond the moon. But that’s just the start. Fueled by increasingly diverse sources of rich data such as social networks and “tweets”, mobile devices, a plethora of public and privates sensors, the amount of data collected is expected to grow 50% per year.

More data from more sources opens up more opportunities. You can use the 12TB of tweets generated each day to market products more precisely; analyze thousands of billions of smart meter readings to predict energy use and increase saving; or look into your business performance data to understand failure and increase margin.

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