I saw this post a while back in the NY Times. Dealing with Big Data effectively is becomming a huge challenge for many organisations. It's also becomming a huge growth industry for both technology and services.
Comment by Usama Fayyad [emphasis is mine]: "In the past, Mr. Fayyad noted, data was regarded as a byproduct of doing business, often a backward-looking record of little value. But today’s vast oceans of data, combined with tools for instant analysis and prediction, Mr. Fayyad said, are a “new strategic asset” that can be used to build “new revenue streams and new businesses.”