We're in the "decade of data" and it will "dwarf the revolution that came from the internet" and change every part of society across the globe.
That's what one of the world's top data scientists, Alex ‘Sandy' Pentland, founder and director of the Human Dynamics group and the Media Lab Entrepreneurship Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told the audience during his keynote at Campus Party Europe, the week-long technology festival at London's O2 Arena.
"This is going to be the decade of data," said Pentland, explaining that information being transmitted by mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will play a key part in this, allowing government and organisations to play a better role in meeting individual's needs.
"The thing that all these devices pull off is data about where they are, what you're doing with them, who you're speaking to and that data is the data that can run the world," explained Pentland.
"Because if you think about transportation or public health or government, it's all about people - where do people want to go, where are they now, what are they going to do next?
Pentland said that the consensus among leaders across government and industry is that the impact of the data revolution will be greater than that of the internet revolution.
"In the discussions that I run at the World Economic Forum in Davos, there's a widespread feeling among the heads of the companies and the regulators that the revolution that will come from data is going to dwarf the revolution that came from the internet," he told the O2 audience, adding the impact will change the world.
"The internet had to come first, things like cellphones have had to come also, but now we're in a place where we have something that will change every part of our society," Pentland continued.
"Not just here in this country, or in the United States, but virtually every adult human in the world has a cellphone, and they're all putting out data about where they are, what their preferences are, who they talk to and that data will run the world. That's why I call it the decade of data.
"This is the beginning of it, not the end of it, we're just at the start," Pentland added.