If you think about how far you drive or walk every day, you could probably come up with an accurate number, right? Now think about how much data you produce every day. How often do you send an email? Or create an important document? Have you got a rough number in your head?

Unfortunately, that number is likely to be inaccurate. Together, we now produce quintillions of gigabytes of data daily.

You would of course need incredibly sharp mental arithmetic skills to be able to figure out just how many gigabytes of data you produce every day. But, one thing we can do to make it easier to understand just how much data we do produce is to attach a monetary figure. Research published by Veeam found that the average consumer in the UK estimates their data to be worth £27,000 ($33,000) per year. A colossal figure. Just to put it in perspective, for that amount you could go on a luxury spa break in the Lake District every weekend for a year!

Knowing then how much data we produce just as individuals, how much data could you be sat on as a business? Data that could be transferred into real, monetary value.

Data center
– Xilinx

What if we had the means?

Given the rise of cyberattacks in the recent years which are aimed at stealing data from companies and individuals, there has been an increase in awareness levels of just how valuable this data is - which is great to see. Though despite this increase, the process of understanding the data itself is overlooked.

In reality, we only understand an extremely small percentage of the data we currently produce and manage. We've barely touched the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There is an overwhelming amount of data waiting to be analyzed properly and understood. But what if we could analyze that data? What if we could understand it in ways that just aren’t possible right now?

Yesterday’s data could answer the problems of tomorrow. We could have solutions to problems we haven’t yet been able to solve – such as crimes that occurred decades ago, locating the disappearance of planes or even solving severe medical conditions. Data that is being stored in data centers and is sat in our systems could finally give us relief on mysteries that for some may have lasted a lifetime. In the last year alone, scientists have used data science to tackle air pollution in London, an issue which has plagued the city for a long time. With this knowledge, policy makers will be able to make London air quality healthier

What does “great care” look like?

Our ability to understand and process data is getting stronger day by day, thanks to the significant development of technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Although, due to the increased risks now posed by the likes of ransomware and other malware attacks, how a company and individuals look after their data is key.

We have to take great care with our data. Failing to keep it safe and secure can result in immediate loss of customers for businesses and can put individuals at great risk.

Having the correct technology in place is one way to safeguard the data in your possession. Having an effective backup and storage solution is essential in order to ensure that both data and services are always-on, and that customers and individuals can access their own data. No matter the circumstances.

Cybersecurity solutions are also highly useful – allowing you to safely manage what you have online and ensure it is not attacked.

With outages impacting everyone from Robinhood to the Financial Conduct Authority, it’s clear nobody can get by assuming they will never be a victim. It has never been more important to ensure that the data you have, whether understood or not, is safe. Outages can have a severe impact, both in the short term and over a longer period.

Are you sitting on your own data goldmine?

Due to the risks which are connected to the rise of the importance of data, businesses need to consider how they can stay always-on in order to keep up with the needs of the consumer. Ensuring digital infrastructure and data itself is permanently accessible and active is vital. In terms of looking forward, ensuring yesterday’s data is protected might also allow us to answer tomorrow’s problems.