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Data Management – Seven Ways to More Effectively Manage Your Data – Part 1

With the volumes of data being created everyday one often wonders if it can all be managed better. It can!

Data management can be an uphill climb due to the amount of data we create each day in the process of conducting business. All this data has to be managed, stored, protected, utilised and eventually destroyed.

How can you manage your data more effectively when your computer hard drive has hundreds if not millions of files?

The key to more effective data management lies in the consistent application of five key data management habits.

 

1. Smarter Data Management & Storage

One of the worse mistakes organisations can make is to store all their data in one place. This mistake is compounded where backups of this data is located in the same place as the original data.

The smart way to improve your data management and disaster recovery at the same time is to store your data in multiple locations.

A number of options are available here. One can store backups at an offsite data storage facility. One can also use cloud hosting.

For even higher levels of protection you might even consider using backup tapes that are not connected to anything and are stored at an offsite storage facility some ways away from your main storage. This not only adds protection against localised disasters but will prevent your data from being contaminated by malware and viruses.

 

2. Store Data More Efficiently

There are two main ways you can store data more efficiently. The first is to do with the hardware and software used for data storage. If you are not using deduplication of file compression when storing data, then you are not storing it as efficiently as you could.

These two simple yet powerful options can significantly increase your storage space, which means reduced storage costs.

Another way to store your data more efficiently is to assess your data regularly. It is very common to find data that has been stored and then copied to multiple locations even when the data has not been accessed or used in a number of years.

Thus it is important to keep tabs on your data and classify it well so that data that does not need to be kept, as it has no legal importance or business value, can be securely destroyed. Doing this will reduce the amount of junk data you keep and make storage and data access more efficient.

 

3. Don’t Store Too Much Data

A great way to quickly increase your data storage costs is to hold on to more data than you need to or follow a policy of ‘keep everything’.

While data storage costs may have come down per TB holding on to all your data is still going to be come quite expensive.

For most organisations, up to 50% of their data could be securely destroyed as it has no legal, regulatory or business value. In fact for some organisations this figure could be even higher.

The costs of hoarding to much data can easily double or triple when you factor in one of more data backups.

Hoarding data to avoid having to classify and better manage it may seem like a good option at first. However, in time you will find it will cost you a lot more than just rolling up your sleeves and putting good data management practices in place.

 

4.  Don’t Store Too Little Data

Yes, you read the heading right, storing too little data is also not a good idea.

If you have implemented good data management principles like classifying your data and destroying data that no longer needs to be kept then you have made a smart choice. In order for you to continue with good data management habits the next thing you need to do is make sure you backup your data.

Regular backups will ensure that should something go wrong and you lose data you will be able to draw on your backups. It is important that backups are done regularly and that the integrity of each backup is verified so that all your files remain intact and will be usable should they be needed.

 

Continue to Part 2…