An IDC Digital University Study estimates that the world's total data consumption is growing faster than 'Moore's Law' and will reach 1.8 Zettabytes in 2011.
1.8 Zettabytes is 1.8 trillion gigabytes, a number so large that the EMC sponsored survey knocked out a 21,000 pixel high infographic (massive jpg) to illustrate just how large the number is.
Various unusual analogies were made to illustrate the scale of the data such as "Every person in the world having over 215 million high-resolution MRI scans per day" and "wall of iPads" 18 meters high and 6400km long.
"The chaotic volume of information that continues growing relentlessly presents an endless amount of opportunity driving transformational societal, technological, scientific, and economic changes," said EMC marketing chief Jeremy Burton.
Other less size-related findings were that less than a third of the information in the 'digital universe' was security protected at all with around half the information that should be protected, actually having some form of security.
The point of the study appears to be to draw attention to the fact that over the next decade, the amount of data will grow by 50 fold while the number of IT professionals will rise by just 50 per cent.