This Is How Big the Big Data Challenge Is

It can be difficult to get your mind around the size of a nearly infinite challenge. When we talk about big data – and everybody’s been talking about how to manage and leverage it for years now – what are we inferring? We know that user-generated and transactional data is growing by the minute, and it’s changing the way IT and business users handle (or fail to handle) their workloads.

Here are some key data points about data that give a taste of how pressing this growth really is.

  1. There are more points of metadata than characters on a tweet.
  2. In 2011, IDC says there were 1.9 ZETTABYTES of electronic data in the world – enough to fill more than 50 billion iPad 32GB tablets. By 2015, the analyst firm predicts that figure to quadruple to 7.6 zettabytes.
  3. A single transatlantic flight creates a billion data points.
  4. Office workers spend more than 2 ½ hours every day reading and answering emails, and that adds up to 27 days of email processing per employee per year, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
  5. All of that information is overloading more than half of office workers, as they reported in a survey to Microsoft.
  6. The data growth of the last three years is greater than the total growth since the invention of computers.
  7. Knowledge workers spend an average of 20 percent of their time per week looking for unstructured data or recreating it if they can’t find it.

The next time you read the term big data, and you’re tempted to ignore it as hyperbole, think about what it means in the average day to the average worker – and then think about what technology can help you not only manage the deluge, but also make meaning from it.

We’re on a mission to turn data into information. Keep up with @DataGravityInc to learn more.

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David Siles

David is Chief Technology Officer for DataGravity. Prior to becoming CTO, David served as vice president of worldwide field operations at DataGravity. Previously, he was a member of the senior leadership team at Veeam Software. He also served as CTO and VP of professional services for systems integrator Hipskind TSG. A graduate of DeVry University, he is a frequent speaker at top tier technology shows and a recognized expert in virtualization.