A recent study (http://info.aiim.org/viking-in-vinland/how-to-clean-up-your-digital-landfills) by the Compliance and Governance Oversight Council found that, of all the data and information retained by a typical organization, 25% has some business value, 5% is subject to regulatory record keeping, and 2% is being held to meet legal hold or dispute requirements. That means that 68% of all corporate data is Redundant, Obsolete, and/or Trivial (ROT).
ROT clearly makes up a significant volume of corporate data. However, what is at least equally troubling is that most of the ROT is actually Dark Data. While ominous sounding, dark data simply refers to stuff the organization doesn’t even know it has.
While you might think “So what? Storage is cheap. It’s easier to just keep everything than go through it and figure out what to throw out”. Unfortunately, this is a false economy. The ROT data still requires resources to store it, and it clutters the important information, making it harder to find what really matters. There is also a Risk (with a capital R) that something in the ROT can jump out and bite you when you least expect it. Just ask Target. Among the credit card transactions that were stolen in its widely publicized data breach earlier this year, was personal customer data from ten years ago stored on a server that no one thought to delete.
Clean up the ROT before it causes your data storage to collapse.