At a Glance – Dark Data

Is your business ready to face the Databerg?

It’s a well known fact that companies collect and store masses of data. This information is then used to enhance and inform business operations. But not all of these data points contribute to decision making. Over the course of data collection, organisations collect vast quantities of dark data, which refers to information that is unused or inaccessible without applying advanced data analysis techniques. The Veritas Global Databerg Report has identified that 52 per cent of all information stored and processed is in fact dark data. Simply put, it is information that isn’t readily available.

Dark data is problematic for a number of reasons. First of all, companies can find themselves paying for far more cloud storage space than they need, leading to waste and unnecessary expense. In light of strict data regulations, it can also be damaging for a business to be unaware of the information they have stored. This could potentially lead to serious cybersecurity risks concerning sensitive data that has not been properly protected. In some cases, it looks like data hoarding could do more harm than good.

In many cases companies simply aren’t aware of the amount of data they have accumulated, which is summed up perfectly by Veritas’ term ‘databerg’. Collecting data is as much a trend as a tool, which means that companies can easily fail to be diligent when organising their information. Another factor surrounds compliance. Some organisations are unwilling to delete data in case they need it to justify certain decisions. Ironically, new regulations to curb the storage of dark data could help to combat this. The key to solving the dark data problem lies in a better understanding of data – namely what is relevant, and what can be safely discarded without incurring regulatory wrath.