Brian Lee, a Practice Leader in CEB’s Compliance & Legal Practice, keeps a keen eye on the information overload happening at enterprises. Here, he provides insight into the dangers of collecting data for its own sake – and offers 6 questions IT professionals can start asking to create a sensible data retention strategy.

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So, how big is a zettabyte?  

It’s a seventh-power-of-1000-or-10²¹ multiple of a byte.  Or one sextillion bytes.  Or we could just say a zettabyte is one big motherboard load of 1’s and 0’s.  Got the picture?

Here’s what’s a little scary.  In 2015, the world created 7.9 zettabytes of data.  In 2020, that number is projected to increase to 35 zettabytes.  Big data is…big, really big.  But, according to Brian Lee, it is not necessarily useful and can be potentially harmful to your company.

The ability to “collect and process data in almost real-time…may lead executives to believe that the more data they have, the greater their advantage. However, collecting a virtually unlimited amount of data can create a serious threat for organizations, because the amount collected often outstrips the ability to protect it.

“The simplest way to protect sensitive data is not to have it in the first place.”

So what data should you collect?  Lee suggests that the true value of data and the potential risk of a breach need to be assessed and evaluated by IT along with business stakeholders. Together, you develop a “sensible data management strategy” for your company.   Lee offers six questions to start the conversation.

Contact us and we can help you further understand and identify the types of information that are vital to your business.