Nov 1, 2015

How Much Data Do We Generate Every Day

When was the last time you shared a photo, uploaded a video or sent a tweet on internet? If you are an ardent digital wanderer, I am sure you wouldn’t have refrained from using the Internet for more than 24 hours. In case you missed a day online, this post helps you understand how much data was generated, while you were away.


Data is an integral part of our lives, and we should be aware of the digital footprint that we leave behind on our digital journey. Today we are able to capture and send data through various Internet connected devices like smartphones, tablets, wearables, GPS and other mobile devices. Have you ever imagined how much digital footprint world population leaves behind in a day?

Before knowing how much data do we generate every day, let us examine how much data do we generate every day on some popular data platforms.

According to Google, there are around 60 trillion individual web pages available online. On top of this, users on a publishing platform like WordPress keep on adding more than 1 million pages every day. If those web pages were distributed equally among all the people on the planet, each person would get around 8,333 web pages.

Apart from web pages and blog posts, we also produce data in various text formats like your emails, social media updates, and online transaction data in various sectors like banking, retail, healthcare and e-commerce.

How much a difference does your tweets make?

Twitter sends around 500 million tweets every day. Assuming each tweet to be around 30 characters (according to a study shown in the below embedded tweet),  Twitter sends around 15 billion characters daily.

Thus, we can say that all the tweets sent in a day are equivalent to around 12,000 copies of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the longest book from the series.

This implies that:

An average reader would take around 20 years to read all the tweets sent in a day at an average speed of around 300 words per minute.

Let’s talk about our YouTube videos According to YouTube, people around the world upload about 300 hours of videos on YouTube every minute. Again, in simple mathematical terms:

It will take around 50 years for a viewer to watch all the videos that were uploaded on YouTube in a day.

Wow! That’s the entertainment dose for your entire life, doing nothing but watching YouTube videos. Also, let’s not forget to consider webinars, live telecast and TV broadcasts shared on other social sites and real-time streaming platforms.

What about our selfies, vacation photos and pictures?

Every day, Facebook and Instagram users upload around 350 million and 70 million photos on internet, respectively. Since 2014, we have been uploading and sharing more than 1.8 billion images on a daily basis.

Assuming each image is around 3 MB, we may require around 90,000 iPhones (with 64 GB memory) per day to store all these images. This is the primary reason, why humans invented cloud storage technology and invested in developing huge data centers.

Such data, created at an enormous speed, has led to the coining of new term — Big Data. Due to the introduction of new technology (for capturing and publishing data), approximately 90% of all the data ever created has been produced in the last two years.

How is Big Data different from the data stored in your hard drive? 

Technically defined, ”Big data can be considered as a collection of large (volume) of data sets produced at tremendous speed (volume) originating from different (varied) sources in structured and unstructured data formats which may or may not be accurate (veracity).”

Now that you are confused, let me simplify!

Big data is basically the collection data that has been captured and produced at tremendous speed since the last few years. It is so diverse and humongous that it cannot be analyzed for decision-making using the age-old traditional database techniques.

According to IBM, we create around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, every single day. If “quintillion” is difficult to decipher, try this: Imagine the data stored in around 2.5 million hard discs of size one TB each. Oh yes!!!

If all this data is saved onto USB flash drives of size 1 GB each and distributed equally among all the people on the planet, each person would get around 3 pen drives, every single day.

Also, if all the data generated in a day is stored on standard DVDs and stacked up to surface of the moon, then we could possibly arrange all those DVDs in more than 640 separate stacks.

Following Infographic illustrates the amount of data generated everyday in terms of storage space required. All the facts mentioned in this post are linked back to respective sources, while other inferences are purely based on assumptions and approximations.