Almost two decades ago, Gartner Analyst Douglas Laney famously encapsulated the power of Big Data and Analytics as The Three Vs: volume, velocity, and variety. In other words, by empowering businesses, educational institutions, governments, and medical researchers with faster access to better, more structured, and continually evolving information sets, each would be able to reap the benefits of The Three Vs. Today, rather than relying on data scientists to sift through large and varied data sets, Big Data and Analytics software sorts and structures data in a way that makes it more accessible.

Imagine a retail brand attempting to market products to a potential customer base of 100 million. By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet, according to IDC. Attempting to manually monitor, collect, make sense of, and execute on all of this data is virtually impossible. However, thanks to Big Data and Analytics, organizations can perform each of these tasks simultaneously for every customer on an individual level.

As Big Data projects progress, companies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Oracle, SAP, and more will help businesses better utilize the information created by consumers. According to Accenture, 79% of enterprise executives agree that companies that do not embrace Big Data will be replaced by competitors with better Big Data executions.

Finding the talent and technology to successfully build Big Data projects will be difficult. Enterprises are unable to find enough workers with deep analytical skills to fill the demand of Big Data jobs in the U.S. As a result, only 29% of organizations use predictive analytics to inform decision-making, according to a survey from PwC. Companies will need to catch up--by 2021, 66% of analytics processes will need to prescribe predictive solutions to complex business issues.

We spoke with the world’s leading brands, scientists, and technologists, including experts from Gartner, HfS Research, and Columbia University to examine how Big Data works, and how it helps to deliver The Five Vs.