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3 Steps To Visualise Data Differently

  • by Hyper Island Asia

Research suggests that currently, the volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide is close to 100 Zettabytes.

 Paviter Singh, Head of Courses and Facilitator

With exponential growth of data usage, consumption and distribution, it has become increasingly challenging to tell compelling stories with data. 

Well, what is a zettabyte in the first place?!

According to Seagate:1 Zettabyte = 30 billion 4K movies, or 60 billion video games, or 7.5 trillion MP3 songs 

The sheer volume of data within 1 Zettabyte is impossible to imagine. Now that we’ve establish that. How could we tell a better story to easily visualise 100 Zettabytes?

Step 1: Start small and use scale to build familiarity

While this initial method may bring about some sense of familiarity using the words such as “movies”, “video games” and “mp3 files”, it certainly is challenging to visualise 30 Billion 4K movies. For context, Netflix’s entire catalogue has around 1,000 4K movies.

Step 2: Apply scale with use of metaphors, images and text

Let’s ask ourselves - what’s a popular device that our audience are familiar with that might be able to store 30 billion 4K movies? And what image, symbol or object come to mind when we think of scale?

Most of us might be familiar with the iPhone. Using simple calculations, we would need about 195 Billion iPhone 13s with 512GB of storage to get 100 Zettabytes of data. Considering that Apple sold 217 million iPhones in 2018, 195 Billion might be a number that could be too large to visualise

To add a spatial metaphor, I looked at physical spaces that we are familiar with and the closest I could come to was a football field. It has been calculated that approximately 68,000 iPhone 13s could fit on one standard football field.

With this image as my baseline visual representation, let’s scale it to reach the figure of 100 Zettabytes, or the equivalent of 195 Billion iPhone 13s with 512GB of space.

Step 3: Apply a similar metaphor at scale

Scaling new heights with data consumption. It would require a tower that is as big as a football field and approximately 2.6 times higher than the Burj Khalifa, to achieve 100 Zettabytes of data, which is the amount of data we are creating and consuming today.

Data storytelling is a mindset and technique of developing a clear narrative using datapoints for an audience. In this course, we will guide you to develop a more analytical mindset while understanding concepts to tell better stories using data.

If you’re curious to learn more about it, discover Data Storytelling for Business and Digital Marketing & Growth Hacking intensive 2-day courses at Hyper Island Asia. 
Tagged with: Courses HI for Business

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