"Data is the new oil." Ever heard of this phrase? It makes a bit of sense during today's very technological age.

Hundreds of years ago, the world was basically controlled by whoever controls the oil supply. That's why billionaires like John D. Rockefeller had power in those days. But now, he has been replaced by a different kind of billionaire: somebody like Mark Zuckerberg, who basically has the data of the entire world at his fingertips. 

Digital data art
(Photo : Getty Images )

This then brings us to the question: just how much data does the world really have? Honestly, the numbers may shock you. 

BIG Data In Bytes 

According to futurist Bernard Marr, the amount of data that the world generates every single day is just mind-boggling to even think about.

Here's a perspective:

Normal, everyday electronics, such as smartphones and computers, often contain gigabytes or terabytes' worth of information stored. But that absolutely pales in comparison to how much data the world stores.

From terabytes, there are petabytes, exabytes, and zettabytes. The world's total data is measured in zettabytes. 

One terabyte is equal to 1,000 gigabytes. Going up, 1,000 terabytes is one petabyte. 1,000 petabytes is one exabyte. And finally, roughly 1,000 exabytes is one zettabyte. 

Back in 2018, the world was already able to create, capture, or copy roughly 18 zettabytes of data. The most recent numbers are even bigger.

According to SeedScientific, the estimated amount of data in the entire world is now roughly 44 zettabytes. And by 2025, which is only four years from now, experts estimate that the world's data output will reach 175 zettabytes.

Considering how one zettabyte alone is followed by an insane 21 zeros, the numbers might start to make your head spin. And as they say in home shopping TV programs, "but wait, there's more." 

Read also: The Growing Demand Of Data Science Vendors: Why Do Businesses Need Data Science Services?

What About The Cloud? 

Everybody's going on about the cloud and cloud services, right?

Gone are the days when information could only be stored onsite, natively, in actual pieces of hardware that people or corporations own. 

Data in the cloud
(Photo : Getty Images)

Now, just how much data do we store in the cloud? Well, it's not as big as the amount of data that the whole world has, but it's still pretty significant.

According to GlobalDots, there's over 1 exabyte of information stored in the cloud. That's equal to over 1 billion gigabytes, several quintillion bytes, and over 67 million iPhones worth of information. 

Big Data Players: How Much Do They Hold? 

Big Tech bigwigs such as Mark Zuckerberg hold so much power these days because of the amount of data that their companies process every single day. The same goes with Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. 

Data center
(Photo : Getty Images )

Various estimates say that these companies are storing at least 1,200 petabytes of data. That includes your personal details, home address, financial credentials, and almost every single little thing about you and every digitally active person you care about. 

The World Will Keep Creating And Storing More 

Since the world basically relies on digital infrastructures for most of its real-world processes, it's safe to say that the amount of data being generated and stored will keep going up. It's the way that modern society is basically designed. 

One thing's for certain: your uber-expensive, big capacity hard drive will never be able to store that much. 

Related: Big Data and Digital Transformation Is Changing the Insurance Industry. Here's How!

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Written by RJ Pierce

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