6 Bad Habits of Data Management: Part 1

John Sharpe

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Most IT workers guilty of at least one or two transgressions when it comes to managing their data. But can any single bad habit cause a company irreparable harm? Unfortunately, yes. At the very least, these transgressions will cost your organization time and money.

Here are 3 bad habits of data management to keep aware of:

1. Keeping Too Much Data

With the rise of big data, IoT and social media, organizations are collecting and storing more data than ever. According to a 2015 IDC report, 42% of U.S. companies surveyed had no archiving process and chose, instead, to archive everything. This bad data habit often consumes extra costs, both to store data and to continuously back up or archive it.

How do you know when you’re keeping too much? According to Forbes, “most CIOs and all general counsels know intuitively that half or more of stored data is debris.” The 2012 Compliance, Governance and Oversight Counsel (CGOC) Summit found that as much as 69% of corporate information had “no business, legal or regulatory value.” Dark data, often comprised of semistructured and unstructured data types, further complicates this issue. While the keep-everything- mindset may seem prudent for IT organizations, this form of data hoarding quickly becomes unsustainable.

2. Keeping Too Little Data

While organizations cannot keep everything, they still need to take steps to store what is important or what they are legally required to retain. Unfortunately, two issues can arise. The first: sometimes deletion occurs after data ages past a certain point. If organizations are not careful, accidental deletion may remove some data that they still need for legal, regulatory or business reasons.

The CGOC summit also found that 25% of corporate information has “current business value,” 5% was classified as an official record and about 1 percent was subject to litigation hold.

The second issue that arises occurs more in regards to incomplete backup or disaster recovery procedures. Here, critical applications, key files or data sets may be left unprotected because backups do not reflect the latest changes to systems or applications. It pays to verify successful restore capabilities via periodic trial runs, especially when it comes to mission-critical applications.

3. Keeping Data All in One Place

Disaster recovery and business continuity efforts typically involve planning for local disruptions or outages as well as for site-wide and regional downtime events. When it comes to site-wide disasters, conventional wisdom suggests having multiple backup copies available for restore in other locations. This includes backup copies stored off site, even in a different region. Some organizations use cloud backup, while others rely on backup tapes stored securely off site. To avoid rolling corruption or viruses that infect the latest backups, many organizations also retain previous backup tapes remotely, fully detached from potential network corruption.

Check out part 2 of 3 bad habits of data management . Download the Test Your Data Management IQ guide for more info.

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