The scale of big data analytics is only just becoming clear, according to US contractors hub BuildZoom.com.

Jiyan Wei, chief executive officer and co-founder of the site, compared cycles in the technology sector to giving a child Lego on their birthday. They are initially excited after seeing the picture on the box and are driven to start "frantically" putting the individual pieces together, but this only lasts for about an hour, he claimed.

After this, many kids will take a look at what they have managed to create and, after noticing that there are still hundreds of pieces scattered around them on the floor, decide to abandon building the toy and move on to the next present.

However, some youngsters will choose to plow ahead regardless and "that's when something special happens", Mr Wei stated.

He explained: "When it comes to big data, I think we've unwrapped the gift and are starting to try and build something, and are just starting to realise how difficult the task ahead is."

Asked about his predictions for the future of big data, the BuildZoom.com chief said it has brought several new players to the field of search.

Both Apple and Facebook have "incredible amounts of data" that could potentially be used to deliver a "more refined level of search", he said.

In fact, Mr Wei stated he would be surprised if Facebook was not already experimenting with layering its data via an existing search framework ahead of a possible entry into the market, while Apple also seems to be "gaining traction" with Siri, its voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant.

EMC claimed the world's total volume of data is doubling every two years, driven by online video, social media usage, cloud computing and other online applications.