Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Speed of Change

I often warn people about the speed of change.  Not just the speed of change of data within your database, but the speed of change of that data's main context - the world in which we live.  People know that change happens but tend to underestimate how fast and how far reaching many of these changes are.

The world changes so fast that I have to upload a new version of the Global Sourcebook for Name and Address Data Management almost weekly.

To put some numbers to that change I looked at the past nine years and summarised the speed that change is occurring.  On average, there are changes in this many countries every year in these areas:
  • Telephone number systems: changes in 60 countries per annum
  • Administrative districts (top level): 14.4 countries per annum
  • Currencies: 4.7 countries per annum
  • Postal code and addressing systems: 4.3 countries per annum
  • Country names: 1.4 countries per annum
  • New countries: 0.8 per annum
This is a surprisingly fast rate of change.  Are you keeping up with our dynamic world?