It’s unclear when plain old “data” became “big data,” but the latter term probably originated in 1990s Silicon Valley pitch meetings and lunch rooms. What’s easier to pinpoint is how data has exploded in the 21st century.
The total amount of data recorded until 2003 was five exabytes, or one quintillion bytes. (A quintillion is a million, cubed.) In 2011 alone, recorded data weighed in at 1.8 zettabytes — almost a thousand times more. By 2020, according to one estimate, humans will produce on average 1.5 GB of data per day. Multiply that by 365 days and then again by a good chunk of the world’s 7.5 billion-person population, and the volume is almost unfathomable immense.
Author: Mae Rice