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Big Data: Interesting Facts and Figures

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There is a lot of talk in the media about “Big Data.”  Here are some fun facts on the subject:

  • It took from the dawn of civilization to the year 2003 for the world to generate 1.8 zettabytes (10 to the 12th gigabytes) of data. In 2011 it took two days on average to generate the same amount of data.
  • In the year 2011 there were 12 million RFID tags sold worldwide.  That number is projected to be 209 billion by 2021.
  • There are 750 million photos uploaded to Facebook every two days
  • 1/3 of all data will be stored in or pass through the cloud by the year 2020 and will amount to 35 zettabytes of combined data
  • There are almost as may bits of information in the digital universe as there are stars in our real universe.
  • There are over 247 billion e-mail messages sent each day.  Up to 80% of them are spam.
  • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, resulting in 8 years’ worth of digital content each day
  • The world’s data doubles every two years
  • Oil drilling platforms have 20,000 to 40,000 sensors
  • Twitter processes 7 terabytes of data every day
  • The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the total population of the planet
  • Facebook processes 10 terabytes of data every day
  • Decoding the human genome took 10 years to process; now it can be accomplished in one week
  • 571 new websites are created every minute of the day
  • U.S. drone aircraft sent back 24 years with of video footage in 2009
  • Google has over 3 million servers processing over 1.7 trillion searches per year in 2011


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