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Catching and Managing New Data

Karen Kroll | February 20, 2013

Just how much data are companies generating these days? Well the numbers are measured in Exabytes, a unit of measurement with 18 zeros.

From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated roughly five exabytes of data. These days, according to Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, we produce five exabytes every two days, and the pace is accelerating. To put that number in perspective, one exabyte is equivalent to 4,000 times the information stored by the U.S. Library of Congress.

In other words, almost all organizations are generating mountains of data that they then have to store and manage, a trend that's led to the term, “Big Data.” While it's difficult to find a universally accepted definition of Big Data, this one from research firm Gartner gets at the challenges the emerging technology poses: “Big data is high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight... To get the full story, subscribe now.