The issue of data handling still never bothers us now. We are in the era wherein everything seems stable. But imagine one day, may be a hundred or so years from now. Will we still be able to access the data that we uploaded in social media sites, email accounts, or in any other online accounts?
How do we handle the massive data in front of us now. Will it be for the betterment of the humanity?
Humungous Online Data
Let’s begin by imagining the data that we have online. The phenomenon that we are in right now is called Big Data. We are in the period of history wherein humungous amount of data is stored in our hard drives and in different web sites.
According to IBM, everyday we are creating 2.5 quintillion bytes of data (1 quintillion has 18 zeroes). Imagine this – 90% of data that we have now was only created in the past 2 years.
It includes everything – from Facebook posts to sensors that gather information regarding climate change.
Implications of utilizing the Big Data
While some are problematizing how to store and handle data for future access. Some companies are making use of the very large quantity of data that we have now.
MGI and McKinsey’s Business Technology Officereleased a research regarding the potentials of utilizing the Big Data. The developed economies of Europe can save up to 100B euro if they utilized the available data.
IBM has a program centered on the three dimensions of Big Data – Volume, Velocity, and Variety.
We can make use of the data to provide us some insights on human behavior, market trends, etc. Examples include analyzing 12 terabytes of tweets to create a product sentiment analysis. Identify fraud by analyzing 5 million trade events that are created each day. Improve customer satisfaction by utilizing 80% data growth in images, video, and documents.
The massive amount of data that we have now is an opportunity to assess and analyze trends.
Can we still access our internet data in the future?
Yes, but many factors will affect the accessibility of our online data.
An article in edition.cnn.com, discusses the future of our online data – after a hundred years. It is not clear how the online data that we store will be handled by big companies in case that they shut down or taken over by other companies.
Evernote, a company that offers online data storage services, mentions that it has been working on data storage which will eventually be still accessible after 100 years. They will do this through continuous conversion of the files to the current formats. More importantly, they are planning to set aside an amount which will ensure the maintenance of the storage devices and proper handling of data.
Internet-based businesses generally follow this – as long as the data that they have (mostly from their users) has value (in gaining more profit), they’ll keep it. But when this data loses its economic value then it’ll be deleted.
Also businesses come and go. So Google and Facebook may seem to control everything now but times always change. They may shut down soon.
Earn the trust of the people
The most important aspect of getting users to your online service is to make them think that your company will still be around like after a hundred years. Large online companies should make sure that they have a clear plan on how to handle their customers’ data.
One example of what will happen to a site when users lose trust is the case of Delicious. The main reason – Yahoo (it’s previous owner) announced that the site will be sold or will be shut down. So accounts were pulled out or just left behind.
Our technology-driven world and lifestyle has produced massive amount of data. We are currently flooded with data. And with this in mind, we think of what will happen in the future.
How can we access our online data in the future? What if social networking companies shut down? Do we have security in cloud services being offered now? Can they handle our data with all the changes in the technology and formats being used to save data?
We can only know once a big company shuts down.
Ric is a blogger who loves to explore and write about different topics. Find more of his posts at Divorce Jupiter and Divorce Delray Beach.