Looking for Treasure

Agencies treasure data and like to refer to information as their crown jewel. But if an agency can’t find data, then any crown jewel is more of a lost treasure.

There’s no sense in wasting time hunting for data. That’s like spending your Sundays watching the Redskins lose.

Time to Clean Up

What’s your attic look like? Or your garage? Nice and neat? Didn’t think so. Agencies often have the same problem with their information–data clutter. Some agencies are beginning to put information management policies in place. It’s not spring, but you can still begin cleaning up.

Information availability represents a key element of information management. Information availability means having access to data and applications around the clock, on any device, no matter where employees work from.

Backup and recovery solutions are an important part of information availability. That’s because of the wicked phenomenon known as downtime, which plagues every agency at some point–and it’s always at the worst times, right? The best solutions mean data and applications are constantly replicated so you don’t risk losing information when downtime occurs.

Maybe you can start cleaning that attic this weekend. It’s more productive than watching the Redskins.

Fool’s Gold

Like information availability, information governance should represent an important part of an agency’s broader data management strategy. Why do agencies save what they don’t need? Some of those crown jewels may not have the value agencies think they have.

So keep your high school yearbooks, but pitch the ill-fitting ’80s apparel. No one wants to see you in parachute pants or leg warmers anyway. Members Only jackets looked bad then, and look worse now.

Agencies have the same tough decisions to make. Hoarding represents a real (big) problem.

Organizations store an average of 2.63 petabytes of data at any one time. Data managed by the average hospital is likely to grow to 665 terabytes this year, up from 168 terabytes in 2010.

Progressive agencies are beginning to practice defensible deletion and getting rid of what they don’t need.

Pot of Gold

Information management helps agencies save money, improve efficiency, and eliminate the need for frantic treasure hunts in search of the crown jewels. Get rid of what you don’t need. And who knows, maybe you’ll find something really valuable while you’re cleaning the attic, like some great old photos or letters. Remember when we used to write letters…

Read more about progressive information management practices in government and health care.

Could your agency improve its information management policies? Does your agency save everything? Do you have reliable access to data and applications around the clock? You’d be surprised how many agencies struggle to manage data.

Feel like sharing something Noteworthy? Post a comment below or email me at bglanz@300brand.com.

Bill Glanz is the content director for MeriTalk and its Exchange communities. In the past 14 years, he has worked as a business reporter, press secretary, and media relations director in Washington, D.C.