by Peter Wilkerson, Search & Discovery Practice Area Manager
Imagine searching through the bed of a truck looking for a specific page in a book.
Now imagine you paying your employees to go through all the books in a large academic library trying to find what they need, without knowing where to look, and not knowing whether they’ve found the right pages or latest information. You are asking your employees to search for data in the digital equivalent of a tornado-stricken library.
Use the chart below to get a sense of just how much data you are asking your employees to work with.
- 1 megabyte – a small novel
- 5 megabytes – the complete works of William Shakespeare
- 100 megabytes – about 3 feet of shelved books
- 1 gigabyte – a pickup truck filled with books
- 2 gigabytes – about 66 feet of shelved books
- 50 gigabytes – a floor (5,000 sq. ft) of books
- 1 terabyte – all the X-ray films in a large technological hospital
- 2 terabytes – an academic research library
- 10 terabytes – the print collection of the US Library of Congress
- 2 petabytes – All US Academic Libraries
- 200 petabytes – all the printed material in the world