You may have heard the buzzword “Big Data” recently, in reference to the large amounts of data that IT professionals must deal with. They’ve been doing this for years, but the sheer volume of data and velocity with which it is transmitted these days has led to a lot of speculation on how it should be analyzed, organized, and stored.
“Big Data” refers to data which is becoming too large and is coming in too quickly for our systems to effectively handle. This has led to unstructured data, or the idea that it doesn’t matter what the data looks like. It should just be stored anyway, and maybe one day we’ll do something useful with it. Sounds like an enormous mess, right? Sure enough, even though data can be stored this way, you can’t really bet on data quality at this point. And in business, quality is very important to your efficiency.
Obviously, you need to make some big decisions on how to store your company’s data, and luckily technology is providing more and more ways for you to do that effectively. But in order to choose a storage system, you need to assess your needs by asking yourself a few questions:
- What data are we storing, and why?
- What value does this data have to my business?
- How long do we need to keep this data? Storing it forever will eventually lead to chaos; some rule of governance must be created. Some businesses, such as financial institutions, may already have clear rules set forth for them by state or federal law. Others might have to make their own guidelines.
- How accessible does this data need to be? Data that needs to be accessed in real time will be stored very differently from data which only needs to be archived and is rarely used or needed. It is possible you’ll decide upon a tiered system in which some types of data are prioritized over the others.
If you haven’t already begun dealing with your unstructured data, you need to begin thinking about it soon. Ask yourself the above questions, and get in touch with us to begin sorting out your data mess.