Value of Data

Despite the dynamic business environment companies are facing today, there are a few constants in the ever-changing landscape – one of those constants is the value of data.  How one puts “value” on stored data varies by company, but the common thread among all business sectors is that data should be considered in the same way you would consider goods inventory.  The importance of data to your goods inventory varies from business to business, but comes down to a question of risk management – you need to understand how much risk your organization is willing to take to keep costs down.

Just as you would utilize your goods inventory, stored data is utilized as well.  This utilization may be for tape backups and general online backups (traditional data storage,) or it may be a dynamic storage where stored data is accessed regularly.  Regardless of how various data is utilized, compliance with regulatory requirements is a must; for example, it is possible for a bank to hold data for seven years (per regulatory requirement) and never touch it.  However, the length of time data is stored or the frequency of access to that data does not diminish the value of stored data – again, you need to understand how much risk your organization is willing to take to keep costs down.

Finally, companies must look to regulatory requirements for their industry when it comes to the question of when to delete data.  If deletion is not an option, companies should place an emphasis on security as it pertains to data storage.  Archiving data requires long-term storage, and it’s important to understand how much risk your organization is willing to take to keep costs down.

The value of data doesn’t vary according to data type – whether it’s text, video or audio, the only thing that differs is how the data is stored as it relates to the cost of storage.  When considering the value of data, we suggest reviewing the importance of client information for sales and marketing, regulatory requirements, etc.  It truly is a question of risk management.

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