The amount of data spit out into the world each day is truly massive.

From Tweets and Google searches to Instagram posts and online shopping trips at Amazon, everyone is creating “digital exhaust” through their daily activities. This information, if harnessed correctly using technology, can be incredibly valuable.

It’s creating a data gold rush, with companies globally expected to spend nearly $190 billion this year on software and services to analyze any sort of information that could give them an edge over their competitors.

The finance industry – from hedge funds and asset managers to large banks – is at the forefront of this trend.

There’s a lot at stake: Cracking the code on big data could lead to larger profits, more market share, and a deeper understanding of customers.

This week, our finance team will bring you a new series focused on how data is reshaping Wall Street:

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We’d love to hear your thoughts on the series. Reach us at finance@businessinsider.com.