90% of all the data in the world was created in the last 2 years, according to IBM. There are dizzying amounts of information available to us, and with each passing day we’re amassing big data faster. Now, with the developments in quantum computing, that rate is set to explode – all the while we are still only scratching the surface on how to make use of big data.

In this post we will take a closer look at quantum computing, how it is likely to impact the future of big data, and how we can harness it in business.

What is Quantum Computing?

When we talk about classic computing, we refer to it as ‘bit-based’, where a bit is the smallest single piece of information and which can have two values: 1 or 0. Quantum computing, however, uses quantum bits – also known as ‘qubits’. A qubit can store much more data than a regular bit, thanks to its makeup of subatomic particles which can exist in various states at the same time. This allows a computer to complete operations much faster, using far less energy than traditional processors.

Quantum Computing and Big Data

Quantum technology is still evolving, and we are yet to see the full impact that it will have on the creation and processing of big data. Still, we can confidently predict that it will dramatically change the nature of the game. Quantum computers have the power to carry out highly complex operations in a matter of seconds, where a traditional computer would need hundreds or even thousands of years. Obviously, this will have tremendous impact on the amount of data gathered, as well as the ability to collect, analyse and use that data.

The potential impact

Most experts agree that the major strength of quantum computing is how it will allow us to instantly scan and analyse huge, disorganised data sets. This will help us discover patterns and trends that might otherwise stay hidden. Once this technology becomes available to the wider market, we’re likely to see tremendous impact on research within science and medicine as well as government, business, and marketing. It will also bring a whole new dimension to the power of Artificial Intelligence and our ability to predict user behaviour on a much more detailed level.

Who develops Quantum Computing?

Today, we’re seeing some of the world’s biggest IT companies making substantial investments in quantum computing. A few examples include:

  • Google
    In March 2018, Google introduced Bristlecone – the world’s largest quantum computer processor. It’s a 72-qubit superconducting system, which is said to be the closest thing to a fully functioning, market-ready quantum computer that the world has ever seen.
  • IBM
    After having researched quantum computing for more than 30 years, IBM launched a ground-breaking prototype of a 50-qubit processor in 2017. Today, IBM claims that the reality of physical quantum computers is very likely to arrive within the next five years.
  • Intel
    In early 2018, computer hardware developer Intel released Tangle Lake, its 49-qubit quantum test chip. This is said to be the first step towards the company’s goal to develop a complete quantum computing system, to fuel a visionary future of ‘neuromorphic computing’ – digital circuits that mimic human brain functions and which can revolutionise how we work with Artificial Intelligence.
  • Microsoft
    Microsoft has expressed a strong interest in quantum computing development and see it as a fundamental part of the future of the business. Alongside several different initiatives, Microsoft plans to have its own quantum computer as part of the Azure Cloud in just a few years. They have also launched a Quantum Development Kit, for developers who want to start creating applications for quantum computers.

What the future holds

We’re seeing some very strong indications that fully functioning quantum computers will arrive in just a few years from now. It’s of course impossible to predict exactly where this technology might take us, but we can expect to see huge impact on our ability to harvest, analyse and use big data in the future.

We’re excited to see how this will change the tech market and create new, exciting opportunities – for small as well as big businesses.