We search Google billions of times a day, send out millions of tweets an hour and upload 100 hours of YouTube video every minute, so perhaps the mind-boggling fact that 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the last few years shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.

With the right kind of analysis, that avalanche of data is also massively valuable. It has the potential to sell more stereos, reduce driving during the infamous Salt Lake Valley pollution episodes and even cure disease.

“It’s becoming a more and more integral part of how most of the big decisions are made,” said Jeff Phillips, an assistant professor of computing at the University of Utah. “The hard part is combing through all the data and organizing and managing and updating the data.”

Phillips is the coordinator of a new master’s-level certificate in big data approved by the U.’s Academic Senate this week and said it will give students skills employers are increasingly clamoring for. Set to begin in the fall, it consists of five courses in data mining, machine learning, database systems, visualization and advanced algorithms, and is aimed at both graduate students and professional computer scientists.

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eCampus News staff and wire reports