A Day In Data: How Much Data We Generate and Consume in a Day

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I‘ve been thinking about the amount of data created and consumed in a single day, and it got me curious to look into the figures. I found the results very interesting – so I thought I would make an infographic to visualize my findings. I decided to focus on the more personal, everyday tasks most people perform in a day, such as emails and social media.

Once I got the figures together in an infographic, I looked at it in amazement. It’s amazing to think of how far technology has come, and the amount of data generated and consumed on a daily basis. From sending emails to checking Facebook, posting on twitter to watching YouTube videos, there is an explosion occurring – and it looks like it’s going to continue indefinitely.

I found it difficult to wrap my head around the fact that 2.9 million emails are sent every second. Let’s imagine the average size of an email is 30 KB, and if 2.9 million are sent every second; that means 87 GB of data is sent every second – just between emails! Now I’ve sent and received many emails today, yet I still find it daunting that millions of emails have been sent and received as I write this sentence.

One figure I found oppositely interesting was the amount of data consumed by the average household. Maybe it comes as a surprise to me since I am a “techie,” but I found the amount pretty low – at 375 MB. If you refer back to our blog “Today’s Media File Sizes – What’s Average?” or “How big is a video file?” you will see that a DVD movie, an already dated technology, can reach up to 4GB in size. Then I started thinking about how households stream data more regularly. Streaming may use less data than a physical storage medium, so this could explain the low numbers.

It’s no mystery that massive amounts of data are generated and consumed every single day. If we extrapolate these numbers to represent a year, the amounts become even more staggering. Let’s use email again as an example: if we generate 2.9 million emails every second, in a single day we generate roughly two hundred fifty billion five hundred sixty million emails! Half of a trillion emails in a single day! Now, imagine the number of emails sent in the period of a year, if you dare.

We will only continue to develop new ways to generate and consume even larger amounts of data. As this trend continues, the importance of file transfer acceleration will grow in tandem. It’s possible that file transfer acceleration may gain more attention from the consumer market as data generation and consumption grows.

How much data do you think you generate in a day and do you think that households will eventually come to appreciate, or even rely on, an accelerated file transfer solution?