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How Big Is Data? Real World Comparisons

Today we are making some real-world comparisons to give some perspective on how big data really is. A lot of people have very abstract, unclear perceptions of what a megabyte or terabyte of data really is. Here is a chart of comparisons from small to large:

1 Byte of data

1 grain of rice

1 Kilobyte

1 cup of rice

1 Megabyte

8 bags of rice

1 Gigabyte

3 container lories

1 Terabyte

2 container ships

1 Petabyte

Covers the island of Manhattan

1 Exabyte

Covers the UK 3 times

1 Zettabyte

Fills the Pacific ocean

When you begin to think about how much data you are holding in the palm of your hand with the latest, greatest iPhone, it becomes astonishing. A 512GB phone equates to over 1,500 container lories.

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