Conclusion 03

Conclusion 03: Assets

In today's organization, data is both an asset and a rapidly increasing burden. With growth rates projected to go through the roof, businesses clearly need to get ahead of the curve or get buried. A common data model and a data architecture plan can help organizations make the most of their data as well as manage it, but neither is widely used yet.

Today, the median storage for companies (the midway point of all companies in our sample) is 3 terabytes, jumping to about 5.8 terabytes for larger firms. Smaller companies have less to worry about, with slightly more than 2 terabytes under management today. The averages are much larger—3,408 terabytes for larger companies—because of the huge amounts of data some companies store.

The amount of data is projected to grow 29% in the next year at larger companies and 24% at smaller ones—roughly doubling in three years.

About 57% of data at both large and small firms resides in databases; the rest is in unstructured forms such as text documents and e-mail. XML, which allows users to define how documents can be structured, accounts for a paltry 8% of data stored.

Thirty-four percent of all respondents have a common data model—a consistent way to label and store information—with another 33% saying they'll have one within a year.

Only 37% have a formal plan for creating and maintaining their data architectures, begging the question: Are companies taking the steps needed to forge a sound data architecture?

This article was originally published on 07-19-2002
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