Data growth refers to the constant increase in the amount of data being produced by modern technological society as well as the increase in the amount of data an enterprise must store. According to Symantec’s 2013 State of Information Report ,data is growing at a rate of 60% to 70% annually.
A recent report from IBM-affiliated IT Marketing Strategy describes some of the factors causing data growth today. “New forms of data, the retention of additional detail for analysis, increasing pressure for high availability of data and regulatory and security requirements – all are contributing to substantial rises in data volume.”
The report also highlights that organizations that learn to manage data growth can leverage Big Data to gain a competitive advantage over rivals or even develop new business models. Methods for deriving value from Big Data are just now coming into their own and the field of data analytics is poised for explosive growth over the next couple of decades.
Data growth doesn’t just apply to databases. Gartner estimates that up to 85% of data is “unstructured” (ie, not stored in databases). Email archives or text documents are two common examples of unstructured data. Furthermore, experts say growth of file content outside traditional databases typically mirrors database growth. Unstructured data growth can be problematic both in terms of the storage space required and time and system resources required to retrieve unstructured data.