What's A Math Man's Data Capacity?

Plenty of questions about data have been asked at OMMA Display in Los Angeles this week, including who owns it and what its challenges are. But perhaps no question has been more interesting than the one raised by Bob Ivins, chief data officer at Mindshare, during a morning keynote interview with MediaPost Editor in Chief Joe Mandese, although it wasn’t so much a question as a statement of curiosity.

“I would like to know how much data I generate daily,” Ivins said, in response to Mandese asking how much marketers truly know about consumers. “It might be siloed and not cross-purposed or used, but we are generating a ton of data.”

This reminded me of the below GIF infographic from, which is an aggregation of a handful of other infographics. It gives a “real-time” look at how much data is being transferred over the Internet.

Click the animation to open the full version (via Penny Stocks Lab).

The infographic says that in 60 seconds, over 1.3 million GB of data is transferred over the Internet. But that’s a sum of all Internet users -- and a loose estimate at best. Ivins noted that he may be able to work with MediaPost to help us figure out just how much data a single person creates per day, but if anyone else has any ideas feel free to contact either myself (tyler@mediapost) or Joe Mandese (joe@mediapost).

Ivins is also wary of who owns -- or will end up owning -- the data. He believes data “will have high concentration in a few players,” namely Google, Amazon and Facebook, and calls that proposition “frightening.”

Perhaps to counteract that, Ivins noted that agencies are “all heading” toward building in-house DMPs with first-party client data, Mindshare included. But despite the close relationship marketers and agencies have with data, Ivins doesn’t believe all of the “Mad Men” will become “Math Men.”

“I think we will find some sort of equilibrium,” he said. “I don’t think everything will move to math. Good commercials are still really important and need to be in context, and I don’t think that’s always a math expression.”

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