The Price of Data


The Price of Data

The amount of data created year after year is increasing at an exponential rate.  New online services, the rise of streaming video, and the urge to capture each and every meal on Instagram have contributed to mind-boggling amounts of data created each day: about 2.5 quintillion bytes (1)!

More people are getting online and content is getting larger. The size of video is a perfect example. When I first started shooting digitally, I would shoot on 8gb cards. Fast-forward to today, and I now shoot on 256gb cards. Luckily, the price of data has decreased drastically. Hard drives are cheaper, bigger, and more accessible. 50 years ago, a megabyte hard drive would cost about 1 million dollars (2). Now, hard drives are usually listed in Terabytes, which is 1,000,000x larger than a megabyte.

With everything “going to data”, backing up your data becomes increasingly more important. Hard drives can fail, or you can lose access to online storage. Your photos, more often than not, don’t exist in a physical form like they did in the past. Photos from a trip with your best friends or your baby’s first steps now only exist as a combination of 1’s and 0’s. It’s not a bad thing necessarily. It’s easier to share photos, it’s more accessible to everyone, and data has never been cheaper. But one thing is for sure; the value of data has never been higher.