As of 2018, the amount of machine-generated data has surpassed the amount of human-generated data. Whether its a smart device in your home or a sensor on your car, these machines are generating more and more data everyday and this is only expected to increase in coming years. Much of the data is unstructured but there could be valuable insights for businesses if this data could be captured and stored. And that's where a little company called MongoDB (MDB 1.77%) comes in.

In this video clip from Motley Fool Live, recorded on July 15, Fool contributor Brian Withers explains to fellow contributor Jon Quast what MongoDB is and how it's profiting from the rise of machines.

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Brian Withers: I'm going to talk a little bit about the rise of machines. There was a slide that I saw just recently that was out of Applied Materials. So Applied Materials has this slide that they put in a recent presentation. They showed data generation by category. You can see this is zettabytes. I don't know what a zettabyte is, but it's bigger than a gigabyte, for sure. It's just tremendously large. They claim that in 2018, the amount of data that was being generated and consumed by machines, passed over the amount that was generated and consumed by humans.

We are now in a machine-driven world from a data perspective and just look, this is going exponential here. The amount of data being generated by industrial IoT, so Internet of Things. Think of it as machines talking to other machines. As far as whether it's sensors on tanks or robots or drones, or just other conveyors talking to other pieces of equipment, the amount of data that's being generated by machines is just massive and growing exponentially.

To me, this is the, if you're looking at database to handle all those data generation, you wouldn't want one that was built some 50 years ago in a world where data was very proprietary and not in the cloud and we didn't have cellphones, and enter MongoDB and they're already doing this. Toyota Material Handling is one of their customers. You can see the clip from the YouTube video that I pulled. Just look at all of these data points they're getting and it's basically all of the things in this warehouse are communicating with other machines. They went with MongoDB for all of these wonderful scaling reasons over there. I can't help but think that part of the reason is it's just the massive amount of data that's being generated and the way that MongoDB is set up for data in a new way for the cloud generation. Was really fascinated by this chart and then the fact that it plays into MongoDB's strategy.

Jon Quast: Brian, just real quick, a zettabyte is 1 trillion gigabytes.

Withers: Oh my gosh. [laughs] That's a lot.

Quast: That's a lot of gigabytes. [laughs] I'm not familiar with MongoDB personally. Are they more into the machine-generated data?

Withers: They make a general purpose database that is in what's called the NoSQL or document-style database. If you look at the top databases in use today, Oracle, SAP, those kinds of things, they are actually built on a structure of a SQL database which is more rows and columns. Like I said, that was developed 50 years ago and it just can't scale with today's demand. You think something like Fortnite is a game that's powered by MongoDB, and you just think of 100 people landing on an island and duking it out in the Fortnite Battle Royale and you just think of the performance that's required for that database to keep up with all of the activity that's going on, where everybody is and what they have and all that kind of stuff. MongoDB has been able to scale that. But they also play into different verticals such as the industrial and machine. It's really just a general purpose database for not only just regular data, but all other data that fits in this document format.