MailBigFile has announced the arrival of a new 4GB upload Pro service for data transmission. Director Steve Barber said, speaking to a layman, ‘in old money this is like uploading 3,000 floppy disks’. Put like that, it’s impressive.
Three thousand of those old floppies would take up a lot of space, and more importantly, time to digest and distribute.
The news set me thinking about data. It’s any sort of information, really, and we have always had it. Today, though, we have more of it, and want it shipped in the literal blink of an eye at a cost which is affordable and sensible with a reliability that is second to none.
Steve prides himself that he and his team deliver that, particularly through the Pro service.
Other Data Tales
But I also looked around to see how much data is in the news as an integral, can’t-live-without part of our lives.
It was revealed that MI6 secrets may have been compromised because ‘a mountain of data’ has been stolen from the Swiss intelligence service by a disgruntled employee who had free access to it all.
In the same week, it emerged that Lord Leveson’s much anticipated report into the future of press freedom contains a howler. His Lordship pontificated that the internet is an ‘ethical vacuum’ and people should not assume what they read online is ‘trustworthy or that it carries any particular assurance or accuracy’.
It then cites the names of the founders of The Independent newspaper, including Brett Straub. However, he was born way before The Independent and his claim to creating the national paper came because some friends inserted it on Wikipedia as a prank!
Lord Leveson or his minions simply believed it. Believe it or not, data is king and people want it transmitted pdq.
Cost Is the Killer Question
Amazon have just announced plans to store company data ‘at around a twentieth of current prices’. Amazon Redshift will go live next year for customers but they are claiming already to have saved big time money, ‘from several million dollars a year to just $32,000’ by storing data from its own retail operations.
Traditionally Microsoft and Oracle have succeeded in dominating the information data storage market, but Redshift will retail at 85 cents per terabyte for each hour on demand, and 23 cents per hour if customers take out a three-year contract.
Analysis of Data is the Solution
On 2 December, the Sunday Times carried a supplement called Mobile Business, which reported on how increasingly analysis of mobile data is being ‘put to work not only in sales and marketing, but also in areas such as transport planning and disaster relief’.
In margin boxes it gave some other fascinating if trivial snippets of data:
- Walmart collects the equivalent of 20 million filing cabinets worth of text information every hour
- 10% of all photos ever were taken in 2011
- 99% of all internet access in Kenya is by mobile phones
Hugo Cox wrote about how crucial analysing the data companies acquire and buy is in getting ahead. As marketing evolves and morphs faster than the latest celebrity, understanding that data and getting it into the brains and systems of people who can properly analyse it is essential.
Data swapping between companies is becoming the norm and he said about the cloud: ‘what is so far being achieved occurs at the intersection between mobile devices, the internet and firms’ own physical servers’.
But that is a staging post on the journey to total integration of data resources, where speed, reliability, cost and functionality will combine in a perfect harmony in a distant future. Next year?
Other data stories from our blogs:
From HTML5 to Quicker Uploads: MailBigFile Keeps Improving, 6 December 2012
It’s the Season to Give Away Lots of Valuable Personal Data, 5 December 2012
It’s Never Too Late to Hop on a Cloud, 2 May 2012
Personal Data: Government Plans a Rich Harvest, 9 April 2012
Wikis Help Keep the Net Open, 17 January
Data Is the Never-Ending Fuel of the Web-Network Economy, 24 October 2011