Is Your Data Neighborhood Overrun with “Sprawlers”?

Much like urban sprawl, if you have a problem with “data sprawl,” it can really ruin your neighborhood. Whether we like to admit it or not, we ALL have a problem with data sprawl.

Urban Sprawl

It starts with that new analyst you just hired who slices and dices data like nobody’s business. She then sends over some cool charts to accounting. They are really impressed. At least they’re impressed with her chart-making talent, but not with what the charts tell them. So your CFO invites your CMO to a meeting to find out why the charts are all trending downward. The CMO boldly states “send me that data and I’ll have our marketing team compare to our numbers to see if YOUR analyst got it right.”

Easy to see the picture isn’t it? Emails, thumb drives, shared network drives, cloud storage, all sorts of online file sharing tools, spreadsheets, graphs of data in presentations – it all adds up to one big sprawling mess!

So what can you do about it?

Controlling data sprawl is like an equilateral triangle. The three sides of People, Process, and Technology must stay balanced for the triangle to keep its perfect shape. The People side consists of having an excellent selection and development process (training, training, and more training). Process includes the step-by-step procedures, rules, policies, and guidelines which have been implemented to ensure privacy and security.

The last, and the one we can help the most with, is Technology. Your data sprawl can be constrained by adding safeguards to your technology like:  requiring users to be registered employees, using password protected documents, controlling the duration of a file after transit, and controlling the number of times a file can be downloaded. Finally, after-the-fact auditing is critical to maintain compliance with your Internet processes. Our solutions offer the ability to track dates, times, file names, users, IP addresses and more.

Let us help you keep your data neighborhood clean!

Image Source (cropped from original panorama)