April 19

“April showers bring May flowers,” as they say. April also brings with it the frenzy of spring cleaning. This is the time of year when everything must sparkle, fit neatly into its predetermined spot, or go curbside. Everywhere and everything is fair game: your home, your garage, the interior and exterior of your car, your fridge, your office, and…your data.

Just like the clutter in your closet or garage, your data can be disorganized, old, poor quality, or redundant. Fortunately, de-cluttering your data will make your life (and business) run more smoothly in the long-term.

sort your past data

Do sort your past data and weed out what is irrelevant, old, or just plain bad.

Don’t delete anything (yet)! You may be trying to simplify your life with a mass delete, but you may be setting yourself up for a disaster. You’ll realize you needed that one random file that was saved in the wrong place when it’s already too late.

determine the quality of your data

Do determine the quality of your data. VP of Marketing, Jake Freivald, calls this a “data quality assessment”. Once your data has been sorted, you need to assign levels of importance. This assessment will reveal errors in infrastructure or “inconsistencies in data received from external sources, applications, or social channels.” Assigning levels of quality to your data will also be indicative of how much value this data contributes to you, your organization, or your business.

Don’t elevate your data’s importance to avoid getting rid of it. Not all data is created equal and not all data is important. Otherwise, you’re back to square one: de-cluttering. Nobody likes a pack-rat or worse…a data hoarder.

come up with a system

Do come up with a system. Once you’ve completed the extensive and exhausting spring data cleaning and de-cluttering process, it’s not one you’ll want to frequently repeat. That’s where a data governance framework comes in. This is essentially a systematic program for data management and best practices.

Don’t assume that building such a program is easy. Rome wasn’t built in a day and your data governance framework won’t be either. Be slow and meticulous with this process.

protect your important, sensitive, or personal data

Do protect your important, sensitive, or personal data. Once you deep-clean furniture, do you leave it exposed to the elements? No! Homeowners often apply a protectant layer to hardwood floors or wood furniture pieces. The same concept applies to your data. You can protect your data by verifying and strengthening your passwords, utilizing double authentication for your business accounts, encrypting your sensitive information, and taking advantage of fingerprint IDs and passcode on mobile devices. Don’t forget antivirus software and regular scans of your computer.

Don’t leave your data vulnerable! Would you write down your garage code and tape it to your front door? No, you would secure your passwords in a safe place and put your filing cabinets and computers on lockdown.

get rid of bad data, but only after you’ve checked

Do get rid of bad data, but only after you’ve checked, double-checked, and triple-checked that you’re deleting the proper data! This is the absolute last stage of the data spring cleanup process.

Don’t hesitate to contact CBL Data Recovery if you lost data due to human error! You may have had an “oops” moment and deleted the wrong file, but your data may be retrievable with our data recovery services.

Happy data cleaning and de-cluttering!

Category: helpful hints, data loss prevention

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