Thought Leadership on Business Strategy & Technology Value presented by Paragon Solutions.
What is dark data? Dark data is defined by Gartner as information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.
Dark data persists among public and private sector companies due to employees becoming information hoarders and using corporate systems to keep personal data, vendor hype around cheap storage, and IT strategies being affected more by the ever growing large volumes of data instead of business value.
Enterprises often take a keep everything mentality for compliance.
However, this thinking leads to storing and securing useless structured and unstructured data as businesses often don’t know what they are keeping or who should have access to it. Dark data is unidentified and could include vital business critical records, non-compliant data, or redundant/obsolete/trivial data.
Information waste is not only expensive but can also lead to greater risk if personally identifiable information (PII) that should’ve been destroyed is kept and later exposed in a data breach or if records that should’ve been disposed of according to laws and regulations are now subject to discovery in litigation.
Classification, metadata, and long term digital preservation must be taken into account in order to locate, access, analyze, and preserve saved information. Identifying dark data,eliminating junk data, and implementing an Information Governance strategy will allow an enterprise to shed light on dark data and therefore lower costs, mitigate risk, and gain value from information.
Identify Dark Data
Dark data accumulates in a variety of ways. Sometime it is simply created, stored, and forgotten about. Other times it’s inherited through M&A and never assessed when the data was brought into the company.
Identification of dark data exposes legal and regulatory risks as well as threats to business intelligence and company reputation.
Knowing what lurks within dark data allows you to find and protect vital and sensitive records and migrate content when needed. Classification standards and tools will allow assigning metadata to information following your corporate taxonomy so you know what you have and can find and retrieve it. Recognize what information in dark data is valuable then extract that value by using it in analytics and business relationships.
ROT is Redundant, Out-of-date, and Trivial content. ROT makes it difficult to locate your organization’s business critical records and sensitive information as it clogs up storage and file shares. Employees who separate from the organization leave their ROT behind creating more unknown, dark data.
ROT makes it hard to find information causing productivity to suffer and heightens the probability of data breaches and exposure to lawsuits which hurt your company’s finances and reputation. Get rid of ROT and remediate dark data with people and technologies following clear, well-defined procedures and processes.