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Companies realizing the impacts of data decay

Paul Newman Archive

The buzz about big data's enormous potential might be so loud that it's drowning out other important aspects of information management. Is all data useful? Is it best to widen incoming streams, or narrow them so that companies are only funneling in data that serves specific purposes? When does data expire?

Data does expire
Too many organizations are currently suffering from a syndrome that earns great TV ratings, but doesn't benefit their bottom lines - hoarding. Data hoarding is prevalent in today's commercial culture that's focused on volume, velocity and variety, according to Ad Week. There are decision-makers who have so much information it's practically spilling out of their servers and platforms, but they refuse to get rid of it because they believe it might come in handy someday.

It's important to remember that what's helpful for a certain business decision may not be applicable or even relevant for choices in the future, the source adds. An infographic that was generated by Zoominfo depicts this dilemma, as it points out that within a year, 10.8 percent of professionals' business cards had changed. Whether phone numbers were updated, addresses altered or employers replaced, business data is fluid, the source points out. It must be run through address management programs to eliminate information that's outdated, or companies will be using expired content. 

Wiping the slate clean
As we settle into the digital age, more companies will recognize the importance of purging data at regular intervals to keep quality at a maximum. Although the reason behind Google's recent decision to retire certain information is different, it still highlights the importance of retiring old data. Discovery News reports that Google has announced it will ask users how they want their information handled after death. Gmail accounts and other Google Services are part of the Inactive Account Manager update, which enables individuals to self-terminate their accounts or push data to loved ones after a pre-determined period of inactivity.