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Curbing The Data Hoarding Monster

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The term “big data” continues to trend in conversation across prominent business networks, leading many companies to believe in it’s essential role to their future endeavors. While the ability to collect and analyze large amounts of information is one of the most useful developments in business technology within the past 20 years, it must be well organized and properly evaluated to provide the largest amount of benefit. Considering that many digital data storage providers charge by the terabyte, businesses that store every bit of information gathered (whether essential or not) can be wasting thousands of dollars a year on maintaining data that will never actually be used to help the company make decisions. Even with a paper based information system, the same issues can arise when taking into consideration the costs of storage space, strain on office supplies, and overall employee efficiency.

This concept, known as “data hoarding” can be a difficult practice to defeat within an entrenched corporate culture where the common practice is to document and store anything regardless of value. Research has shown that this problem is relatively common within the business world, with up to 80% of the average company’s files remaining untouched for more than 3 years. By factoring in the wasted costs of storage space, legal ramifications if there is an information breach, and decreased productivity, many companies are looking at a potential bill of around $10,000 directly related to the data hoarding phenomena.

But the better question would be, what can be done about it?

Developing a comprehensive data retention plan can be the best bet to curb excessive data gathering and storage. To break that down into layman’s terms:

A) IT personnel and records managers should develop a prioritization system containing guidelines on what information is essential to preserve and maintain for critical business operations

B) Create a procedure for other employees to follow to ensure that duplicate entries and unnecessary data do not make their way into the company’s databases

C) Continue to maintain and update the plan as situations arise and needs change. Any good plan will be constantly changing and updating to reflect the complexity of the modern business environment.

All businesses, regardless of industry, will need to store and utilize data to compete in the modern marketplace. To get the most out of a data storage system, companies need to have an effective plan by which to organize information that will allow them to prevent data hoarding and use their information effectively. If you have any questions about this or any other records management topic, the experienced professionals of The Data Vault can help! With 30 years of experience, we’ve helped many of our clients find solutions to their information management needs, saving them valuable time and money. Give us a call at (502) 244 – 1151 and we will see what we can do for you!

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