As SXSW started on Thursday, Inc. sat down with Michael Dell and he shared a little big data secret: “How much of [the] data that companies or organizations store is actually being used to create better outcomes or better decisions or better results or better anything–particularly in real time?” he asked. “The dirty secret is, almost none of it. Well, that’s a huge opportunity, and an area that’s hugely interesting to our customers.”

Dell, the founder of the Dell Inc., suggests that Dell on the other hand is starting to move in a better direction, namely that of utilising the data towards better outcomes for their customers. Since taking Dell Inc. private, however, the company has also started helping other companies sift through the data they are now collecting, in addition to protecting it. That said, while many large clients have signed on Dell Inc. to protect their data, few of them are already using it. For that reason Michael Dell estimates that the IT industry, currently worth roughly $3 trillion, may rise to $4 or $5 trillion.

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