Millions of companies are inundated with outdated and unnecessary data. And the data they are collecting may put their businesses at jeopardy, increasing storage costs and improving their analytics.
If you have ever gone into a hoarders house, you were likely touched with endless piles of seemingly useless items, such as newspapers, books, photographs, and clothing. These items, for the owner, are incredibly valuable.
Apply that same lens to the data on your computer. Could your organization be a data pack rat?
People hoard for two reasons: they feel that they do not have permission to purchase items or are incapable of developing the ability to live without it. These are often attributed to hoarding multiple versions of the same letter, previous reports, or old spreadsheets on your computer.
Most of us do not have access to data because we don''t know what to do with it. Often, we don''t even know what they used in these three, five, or even ten years ago.
Organizations are at greater risk of ransomware attacks and are exposed to what IT professionals call false data.
Dark dataas the information assets organizations collect, process, and store during their business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes. This data can impede the integrity of data analytics and erode yourdata security.
Dark files are usually temporary, created by programs or work-in-progress files when a job is completed. Some of these files may contain useful information.
Potentially missed insights
Dark data can sneak into your analytics in the form of files or hidden folders. It can also be misplaced within computer systems and intermingle with the rest of the data. When you unknowingly use the wrong data, you will get misleading conclusions, causing damage to your analysis, and leaving missing insights.
Information that is hidden in the dark can derail you from recognizing your organization''s entire data landscape. It may be hampered by a company''s ability to understand how much data the organization actually has and what it deciphers.
These dark documents may contain irreplaceable information about your internal processes, which you might use to improve your productivity. Others may include information about customers that you might use to improve your customer service. Or it might expose you to liabilities if your personal data is compromised.
If there is a dark file that contains more up-to-date information or more exact information than what youre provides to your business intelligence tools, then you might be making decisions based on false pretenses.
Shine the light on dark dataand dark files
A data audit or data assessment can help to clear dark data and identify potential threats to your organization. This process attempts to inspect your entire file system and investigates the deepest gaps of your company. The evaluation can also read the data in unstructured files and reveal their content.
Once discovered, you may classify these data and select if you want to delete your dark files or move them into a more suitable location. For example, less important data might be transferred to a more affordable storage solution, or sensitive information may be recorded and placed in a more secure location that is more easily searched and accessed.
You may identify obsolete files, obsolete files, and trash data to take control of your information and provide greater value to your organization. However, youll find plenty of junk, but you may discover some buried treasure that you might exploit to improve your organization.
By eliminating the data pack ratmentality, you can avoid a data failure and limit the unstructured data that might be subjected to a ransomware attack, creating a more efficient and secure data environment.
Adrian Knapp, Aparavi''s CEO and CEO, is the founder of Aparavi.