"The Dangers of Dark Data and How to Minimize Your Exposure".  I keep
hearing references to this thing called Dark Data.  This article defines it
as:   "data that is kept 'just in case'.  Well that's nothing new.
Data/information/records that are retained just in case indicates a process
problem - a user(s) who does not comply with the organizational disposition
requirements;  or a lack of an inventory and/or records retention
schedule.  If there is any data/information/records that are not included
in a records retention schedule then that needs to be completed.   And we
all know that any data/information that is not considered a business record
should be disposed of NOW.  I prefer including one category for all this
stuff in the records retention schedule with a very short retention
requirement assuming there is any operational need for it.  Easier to work
with a positive approach rather than the negative approach such as "if it
doesn't fit any category then it must be a non-record".  Create a category
and define it to include all the non-business record information - dark
data maybe?

Then this article ends with:  " Only by taking stock of what's out there,
though, and only by employing a dispassionate and thorough approach to risk
and exposure management, can an organization get a rope around its dark
data holdings."

Isn't that enlightening?  This has been the core of Records Management for
- how long is that now?

If the IT world has a lot of dark data taking up space then they need to be
talking to a Records Manager who can provide a direct and easy way to apply
retention and disposition to the "dark data".  If the real issue is not
being able to effectively "erase" the data then we better find a way to
delete electronic information before it keeps piling up.  Maybe we should
just send it all to the Cloud and put a lock on it and let it float into
the Black Hole:)

Why do we think this is so complicated?  It isn't rocket science:)


Mary W. Haider, MBA, CRM
Records & Information Manager and Consultant
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