The quantity of information in the world is soaring. Merely keeping up with, and storing new information is difficult enough. Analyzing it, to spot patterns and extract useful information, is harder still. Even so, this data deluge has great potential for good—as long as consumers, companies, and governments make the right choices about when to restrict the flow of data, and when to encourage it. Find out more.
dodgy. Mobile-phone operators, meanwhile, analyse subscribers' calling patterns to determine, for example, whether most of their frequent contacts are on a rival network. If that rival network is offering an attractive promotion that might cause the subscriber to defect, he or she can then be offered an incentive to stay. Older industries crunch data with just as much enthusiasm as new ones these days. Retailers, offline as well as online, are masters of data mining (or business intelligence , as it is