What is Data Sprawl?
Da·ta / sprawl
Data sprawl refers to an organization’s de-centralized and distributed data across a vast digital environment. Some significant issues of data sprawl include: increased risk exposure, general communication challenges among teams, and a general lack of understanding of what’s included in your overall data estate.
As your organization continues to use new tools and applications, data is stored in non-integrated silos, accelerating the disorganization and decentralization of your data assets. There are several helpful tips for improving this situation, and standardizing your data to give your organization a non-fragmented and complete view of the data landscape.
Here Are Five Easy Ways to Reduce Data Sprawl:
Maintain a single optic for all of your organization’s data
By choosing a tool that will centralize all of your data, you can eliminate the need to access multiple repositories for a single interest. Aggregating all of your data can be a useful exercise, but it’s important to understand and classify your data to most effectively utilize it.
Compliance and legal teams often have to make multiple requests or use multiple systems to respond to inquiries and issues. Providing them with a single platform to conduct investigations quickly and accurately is essential.
The cost of data sprawl can become staggering with multiple copies of data in a single environment (not to mention duplication across multiple systems), considering resource requirements and time spent searching for a given data point.
Assess and improve risk posture with a clear data governance strategy
Data security is among the top priorities for most organizations, and understanding what data there is to manage and protect is the first step in an effective strategy. Retention policies, access controls, and other security issues are much more difficult to track and enforce without a clear strategy. Meet the needs of GDPR, CCPA, third party audits, and other privacy and security requirements with less risk and less cost.
Integrate chat, socials, files, and more by leveraging data connectors
Today’s digital workplace leverages a wide array of applications, repositories, and communication channels that are all generating data that must be discoverable and accessible. Data connectors can support your sprawl reduction efforts by capturing all enterprise data and funneling it into a single source of truth for accessibility and executive decision making.
Eliminate ROT data
An estimated 80% of data in one system is considered unstructured AND unused/not accessed for any business use. Redundant, obsolete, and trivial data creates unnecessary risk and sifting through it can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Leveraging a tool that detects and archives your data will give you complete insight to understand and make decisions on that information.
ROT data also contributes generously to productivity losses as employees spend valuable time searching for the correct data points among a sea of obsolete sources. Deploying an effective policy or tool to handle this will significantly eliminate frustration and resource expense over time.
Review both inactive users and inactive data silos on a continuous basis to drive down costs and maintain security. Inactive accounts are more likely to be breached as they are not monitored as often, creating an additional gap in security to eliminate. Reducing or eliminating the data in inactive or legacy systems can not only improve security, but decrease hardware, licensing, and infrastructure costs as well.