Yesterday, we were asked a fairly common question: “Do you have any sort of citable estimate of how many pages = a rough equivalent of a gig of data? Is there an industry standard for that?”
This is a question perfectly engineered to make my partner John go ballistic. The electronic discovery industry has been making a fortune charging by page equivalencies per GB, which rarely bares any correlation to reality or to effort. Since the questioner was a friend, he gave her a candid and blunt response, which I thought was worth quoting here:
"Nobody worth their salt would quote a number. The equivalent is all over the place and is very dependant on the application software, the version and how the software is used. Having said that…a lot of idiots usually quote a number of 50,000 – 75,000 pages per GB. Here’s a link to Craig Ball’s article, which blows the numbers away even more. Some folks talk about 22,500 per Gig and ExxonMobil thinks the number is 500,000 pages. Go figure and then pick a number, any number."
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