Report shines a light on dark data

A global study of information management conducted for Veritas Technologies has found that that 52% of all information currently stored and processed by organisations around the world is considered ‘dark’ data, whose value is unknown.

Analysing data from some 2,550 respondents across 22 countries, including 100 from Australia, research firm Vanson Bourne concluded another 33% of data is considered redundant, obsolete, or trivial (ROT) and is known to be useless. If left untamed, this dark and ROT business data will unnecessarily cost organisations around the world a cumulative A$4.6 trillion to manage by the year 2020.

Organisations are creating and storing data at an ever-increasing rate due to a ‘data hoarding’ culture and an indifferent attitude to retention policy. This data could be anything from valuable business information to non-compliant information. The report reveals that IT leaders consider just 15% of all stored data to be classified as business critical information. For the average mid-sized organisation holding 1,000TB of data, the cost to store their non-critical information is estimated at more than A$900,000 annually.

“Understanding and acknowledging that a data hoarding culture exists is a first step in addressing the problem,” said Chris Lin, Veritas’ Senior Vice President & APJ Sales Leader. “There is an immediate need for organisations in Australia to take control of their ‘Databerg’ and identify business value and risk. Today, only 13% of Australian organisations do so. Data needs to be classified based on the organisation’s data retention policy and there is a growing demand for an effective information journey for dark data to be implemented.”

The survey found that the average Australian organization has 10% of its data tagged as Business Critical, or clean data, which has a recognizable business value, as compared to a global average of 15%. This is one of the lowest rates globally.

At 28%, ROT data is 5% less than the global average of 33% but Dark Data is 10% worse. At 62%, Australia has the third highest rate of Dark Data globally.

As more Australian organizations migrate to the cloud, the number of employees using corporate networks for their personal use is growing, leading to more type of files such as personal legal and ID documents (70%), photos (69%) or non-approved software (47%)  being stored at work. Due to this growth, 49% of respondents in Australia stated IT professionals should be worried about employees being careless with how they handle company data.

Download the full report HERE.