Do people really comprehend the sheer scale and rate that the digital world has grown and continues to do so exponentially...
Well let's start with the fact that there are over 7 billion people on planet Earth. The vast majority of those people have a digital footprint in some form. They have data records take smartphone pictures and post on social media, they use Uber to get a ride, and even book accommodation using Airbnb.
Collectively in this digital age all of this data is accumulating and our global digital footprint is expanding at a rate of about 3 EB exabytes of new digital data every single day. Even while writing this I struggle to comprehend the sheer scale. (In terms of size exa means one billion billion, or a quintillion). So let's try to comprehend what this actually means. To try and give some perspective on this initial question about the size of this data growth? Well it’s the equivalent of about 150,000 years of constant DVD quality video with no breaks or intermissions. The next question, and rightly so is how is where is all this data coming from? Well it's constantly being created manipulated and recopied. Its everything from simple text messages, this article (as a few kb kilobytes explain Big Data), family snaps and videos on social media applications through to commercial work product, dictionaries, thesis, bibliographies and everything else in between. These are digitised and stored for future use. Now expand that by the 7 billion or so people on earth and you can start to try and grasp the enormous data volumes that the world is dealing with... So Yes every day, that Global data volume is currently increasing by about 3 EB and this is increasing exponentially. Estimates show that within the next five years this digital universe will exceed 40 ZB of data. (where 1 ZB or zettabyte equals 1 billion TB terabytes)
More importantly the ability to access and use this data will fundamentally be the next revolution and this is already happening now. For example, if you tried to download even a small fraction of this 40 ZB of data today, with current technology it would take millions of years. Let alone trying to compute any analytics on that data... Current technology can barely scratch the surface.
However, there is a paradigm shift akin to the industrial revolutions in our way of thinking about this digital information. The big players in this market are already spending millions on R&D to provide technology that can handle the kinds of business "Big Data" companies what to leverage.
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