Thursday, 6 June 2013

Size vs value

It is a widely quoted stat that business data is expected to more than double every year. This is due to a perfect storm of the increasing proliferation of data generating devices, and the rapidly decreasing costs of collection and storage. 

The rise in use of cloud technology proposes enormous advantages to business everywhere. This cannot be understated. Simply put, using 3rd parties to store information means that companies no longer need to pay large amounts for server space that they may never use. Instead, they pay their cloud provider just for the space they use.

While this is a fantastic idea, we can easily get sucked into storing data, just because we can. Because data is measured and more importantly charged by size, it creates a market demand for data, not because it is useful, but because it is an asset that provides an income.

A recent Digital Universe study found that only 0.5% of all data is actually analysed. So is the 99.5% useful, wrong or just waiting for technology to catch up?

The much promised 'Big Data' solutions have not achieved critical mass within the IT industry, with people talking about them more than implementing anything. So what is happening to all this excess data? The truth is, we are all paying for it in one way or another, in the price of our goods and services or the tax into our governments.

Data size is only important to cloud providers, as that is how they choose to charge people. The challenge is for everyone to find a better way to assign value to their data.  Only then can we keep the data that can take our lives forward and reject the waste that is clogging servers all over the world.

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