The Best Way to Use Data to Cut Costs? Delete It

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 08-17-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    The Best Way to Use Data to Cut Costs? Delete It
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    The Best Way to Use Data to Cut Costs? Delete It

    While much is made of data analytics and the troves of data organizations retain, collecting and indiscriminately storing data can be detrimental to the business.
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    Total Cost of Data Storage
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    Total Cost of Data Storage

    The total cost of ownership for storage is not declining. If a hypothetical company stores one petabyte of data now, it is likely to store 1.45 PB next year. If the storage cost drops 15% or 30% while volume grows 40%, storage cost cannot decline.
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    Storage Growth Is Burdensome
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    Storage Growth Is Burdensome

    Growth in storage and managing it is an ever-increasing burden on all businesses, but you can do something about it; delete a significant percentage of expensive-to-store data.
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    Data Hoarding
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    Data Hoarding

    Not all data is useful. Businesses often don't know what data they possess. Much of it may be junk that wastes data analysts’ time.
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    Big Data Hype
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    Big Data Hype

    One reason businesses collect and store more data than they can process is the vague belief that more is better. They hope to gain new insight from their data, but this is not a business strategy. It is a business wish.
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    Fear of Legal Consequences
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    Fear of Legal Consequences

    Regulations, such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, encourage data hoarding because companies believe it is safer to keep everything. There is no obvious incentive to delete, and under-preserving creates risks.
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    U.S. Courts Encourage Data Storage
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    U.S. Courts Encourage Data Storage

    In litigation, U.S. courts instruct juries to look askance at the absence of relevant data, such as emails, encouraging businesses to store everything.
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    European Union Deletion Policies
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    European Union Deletion Policies

    The EU, recognizing "unreasonable persistence of data" in employee performance, for example, said data retention should be limited to 2 to 3 years after an evaluation.
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    Losing Junk Data Requires Information Governance
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    Losing Junk Data Requires Information Governance

    Junk data and its drain on a company's resources are not an IT problem. They are a business problem.
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    Cooperation Is Key
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    Cooperation Is Key

    To attack junk data, businesses must take a holistic view of the challenge. The CIO and CFO and the company's legal, compliance and security departments must collaborate to determine what data to store and what to delete.
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    Develop Statistical Sampling Protocols
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    Develop Statistical Sampling Protocols

    Statistical sampling protocols can help reduce large amounts of storage media. Indexing and machine analysis can pinpoint what data to preserve or delete.
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    Automate Data Deletion
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    Automate Data Deletion

    Manual deletion is difficult and expensive, so automate it. Establish machine rules that mandate the deletion of unnecessary and vulnerable duplicates.
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    Return on Investment
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    Return on Investment

    Good information governance resulted in $8 million in savings for metals and mining company Rio Tinto, when it eliminated 35% of file shares in its network, for example.
 

A recent mindset challenges the assumption that data storage costs will continue to decline and argues that collecting and indiscriminately storing data can be detrimental to business. The solution: deleting some data. In his thought piece, "Why Data Deletion Makes Sense (and Dollars)," Jake Frazier, FTI consulting senior managing director, Technology, Information Governance and Compliance, argues that businesses begin deleting unnecessary data or jeopardize resources needed to collect, process and analyze the "torrent of incoming data they will need later." The article was published in July in FTI Journal. In 2012, 2,837 exabytes of digital data were created and consumed. This figure is expected to double every two years, reaching 40,000 EB by 2020, according to an IDC report. ICT Analytics reports that stored data is increasing 45 percent annually and is the fastest growing cost within enterprise data centers. Although the cloud enables businesses to outsource storage at a fraction of the cost of a proprietary data center, Frazier said that much depends on the type of data. With these trends in mind, he discourages hoarding data and enjoying the ROI (possibly millions) of deleting it.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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