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5 Data & Information Management Bad Habits You Should Break in 2017 – Part 1

Bad data handling habits could be costing your organisation a fortune. Start changing them today!

How many information management bad habits does your organisation suffer from?

In today’s digital age we create, use and store ever increasing volumes of digital information. The volumes of data are actually quite staggering.

According to CISCO, the end of 2016 saw the annual global IP traffic pass the zettabyte* ([ZB]; 1000 exabytes [EB]) threshold. CISCO predicts that by 2020 this traffic will reach 2.3 ZB per year.

* Discover what a zettabyte is by following this link: http://highscalability.com/blog/2012/9/11/how-big-is-a-petabyte-exabyte-zettabyte-or-a-yottabyte.html

Now your own organisation’s data most certainly does not come anywhere near zettabyte size. Probably your data volumes run somewhere in the terabyte range but this will still translate into millions or tens of millions of files depending on the size of your organisation.

The handling of all this data inevitably gives rise to a number of information management bad habits.

 

Information Management Bad Habit # 1

Data Hoarding

Data hoarding is simply holding onto every piece of data collected, created or received ‘in case’ the data has value at some point in time. Wide availability of data storage options and the increase in storage capacities combined with reducing costs of higher capacity has made data hoarding rather popular.

Even with lower storage media prices, data hoarding soon becomes expensive and an added burden for your organisation. Yes, there may be value in your data but most of it will have no value or its value may no longer apply. Why spend money storing something you’ll never use?

The way to deal with your data is to classify it into different types of data with different importances. Be mindful that some data will be subject to legislated retention periods or legal holds so make sure these are taken into account.

While the process of sorting your data may be time consuming it will save you money in the long term. Not to mention you may discover some of that ‘value’ you were looking for by assessing old data files.

 

Information Management Bad Habit # 2

Failing to Classify Your Data

Failing to classify your data generally results in data hoarding or the destruction of valuable data or in some cases data that is subject to legislated retention periods.

It is very easy to get into this bad habit as few companies take the time to implement file classification or even basic electronic organisation using a computer’s native operating system folder structure.

This means that as time goes by data gets placed in an ever varying folder structure often across multiple computers and with significant duplication. It’s much like dumping all your paper records all together into a filing cabinet without categorising them, it’s going to be pretty hard to locate anything right?

Once the number of files exceeds just a few hundred thousand the process of sorting and assess your data and classifying it becomes considerably more difficult.

The obvious solution is to implement classification and filing systems or folder organisation as early as possible. If you did not do this then don’t despair. It is never too late to start sorting out your data files. While it will be more work than if you started sooner it will still be less work than waiting a few more years.

Sooner or later you will have to sort out your organisations data, so start sooner rather than later.

 

This article continues in, ‘5 Data & Information Management Bad Habits You Should Break in 2017 – Part 2’.

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