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Shedding light on dark data

Mark Bentkower Director of Systems Engineering, ASEAN, CommVault Systems | April 24, 2015
Mark Bentkower, CISSP, Director of Systems Engineering ASEAN, CommVault Systems, discusses the challenges organizations are facing today and provides best practices for companies to address their unstructured data challenges.

There are now back-end repositories that enable organizations to align policy-driven rules with deep retention. Rules aligned to business objectives help reduce cost, storage footprint, business risk and administrative overhead. Ideally these rules would cross multiple filesystems, applications and hypervisors with a minimal amount of custom scripting or data transformation.

Deliver Self Service Access

Workers across any organization find different value within the same subsets of data. Sales may need pricing trend information by quarter, while operations may need data on facility usage, and HR may need details on workplace satisfaction. All of that data resides in the organization's archived information, but it isn't useful unless it can be retrieved in a logical format.

Instead of setting up a costly data mining and analytics department inside the IT organization, organizations should enable users to search and access the data themselves and enable them to quickly discover, access and analyse information. This, ultimately, maximizes workforce productivity with transformational business insight into stored data.

Automate the Data Lifecycle

Organizations can help themselves by defining full lifecycles for specific classifications of data, and then running rules against those data stores. How long should a user be able to store an email message? What about an email attachment? Perhaps it depends upon the type of user, or the size or type of attachment. With so much data growth, and volumes of stored content that is not necessarily valuable to the business, consideration must be given to assess the full data lifecycle from creation through to disposition. In fact, establishing set governance policies for defensible content deletion can be a significant key in the reduction of dark data.

Organizations should be able to classify, organize, retain and delete information easily so that they can streamline the entire information management lifecycle. This will not only help them automate records retention but also manage the data more strategically for improved compliance and litigation readiness.

Assure Compliance and Discovery

Compliance audits and litigation are two events no company wants to face, yet being realistic, every company knows they need to prepare for. Compliance regulations touch every industry and every organization understands the risk of the legal actions that can follow.

Yet, the rapidly increasing volume, complexity and disparity of data creates a challenge for organizations as they try to discover information needed to address corporate litigation, internal investigations, public information and audit requests. The best way to minimize the cost of these queries is to be proactive with comprehensive archive, search and eDiscovery capabilities.

How organizations handle the dark data challenge will become a key foundation for corporate competitiveness, business intelligence and innovation. Yet, simply archiving data won't deliver the intelligence organizations need to transform their business. To truly illuminate dark data, organizations need a modern archive with intelligence. It is that intelligence that will manage storage growth, capture data comprehensively and provide users with simple self-service access, all while managing it throughout its lifecycle for lower compliance and litigation risk and cost.


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