Sometimes it’s hard to conceptualize the vastness of disk storage. It’s easier to look at a bookcase full of rare first editions and understand the amount and value of information. Here’s a break down on the size of different forms of data as defined by the IBM Dictionary:

Bit: A Bit is the smallest unit of data that a computer uses. It can be used to represent two states of information, such as Yes or No.

Byte: A Byte can represent 256 states of information, for example, numbers or a combination of numbers and letters. One Byte could be equal to one character. Ten Bytes could be equal to a word. 100 Bytes would equal an average sentence.

Kilobyte: One Kilobyte would be equal to this paragraph you are reading, whereas 100 Kilobytes would equal an entire page.

Megabyte: Fifteen years ago, a Megabyte was considered a large amount of data. Today a 500 Gigabyte computer hard drive is common. An old 3-1/2 inch floppy disks can hold 1.44 Megabytes or the equivalent of a small book. 100 Megabytes might hold a couple volumes of Encyclopedias. 600 Megabytes is about the amount of data that will fit on a CD-ROM disk.

Gigabyte: One Gigabyte could hold the contents of about 10 yards of books on a shelf. 100 Gigabytes could hold the entire library floor of academic journals.

Terabyte: One Terabyte could hold about 3.6 million 300 Kilobyte images or about 300 hours of good quality video. A Terabyte could hold 1,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Ten Terabytes could hold the printed collection of the Library of Congress. That’s a lot of data.

Petabyte: One Petabyte could hold approximately 20 million 4-door filing cabinets full of text. It could hold 500 billion pages of standard printed text. It would take about 500 million floppy disks to store the same amount of data.

According to the MGI Big Data Report, the United States Library of Congress is storing around 235 Terabytes of data and 88% of industries have more data than that. Enterprises are in someway liable for nearly 80% of the digital universe. Businesses have steady daily file creation and the amount of information stored within the company will quickly amass. Precious items should be kept in a safe place and your data is no different.