Transform your Data into Financial Foresight
Take the Insights in 7 Days Data Challenge
Data Strategy

Do You Really Know Where Your Data Is?

by
Mitch Peipert
May 6, 2024

Explore the complexities of modern data management and learn how businesses tackle data sprawl, ensure compliance, and maintain visibility in an era of growing data volumes and evolving technologies.

In our world of data dependency, businesses rely heavily on the integrity and accessibility of their data to make informed decisions, drive growth, and maintain a competitive edge. However, as data volumes continue to skyrocket and technologies evolve, ensuring the security and proper management of data has become increasingly complex. The question every organization must ask themselves is: Do you really know where your data is?

Data: The Lifeblood of Modern Business Operations

Data is the lifeblood of modern business operations, flowing through various systems, applications, and platforms. From customer information to financial records and intellectual property, data comes in many forms and resides in numerous locations. Yet, despite its critical importance, many businesses struggle to maintain a comprehensive understanding of where their data is stored and how it is being used.

One of the primary challenges organizations face is data sprawl, the proliferation of data across disparate systems and environments. According to a study by Varonis, the average company has 17 petabytes (a petabyte is a million gigabytes) of data, with 58% of that data being "stale," or no longer actively managed or used. With the rise of cloud computing, mobile devices, and remote work, data can easily become scattered across multiple cloud providers, on-premises servers, employee devices, and third-party applications. This decentralized approach to data management not only increases the risk of data breaches and compliance violations but also makes it difficult for businesses to enforce consistent data governance policies.

The Challenge of Data Sprawl

  • Definition and Scope: Data sprawl refers to the proliferation of data across disparate systems and environments.
  • Statistics: According to a study by Varonis, the average company manages 17 petabytes of data, with 58% classified as "stale".
  • Contributing Factors: The rise of cloud computing, mobile devices, and remote work has led to data being scattered across multiple platforms, increasing the risk of data breaches and complicating data governance.

Another factor contributing to the complexity of data management is the lack of visibility into data usage and access permissions. A survey conducted by IBM found that 61% of organizations struggle with maintaining visibility into who is accessing their data and how it's being used. Without clear visibility into who is accessing data, when they are accessing it, and for what purposes, businesses are vulnerable to insider threats, unauthorized access, and data misuse. 

Additionally, as data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA continue to evolve, organizations must ensure they have the necessary controls to protect sensitive data and comply with regulatory requirements. The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) reports that the average cost of non-compliance with data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, is $14.82 million. 

Visibility and Compliance in Data Management

  • Lack of Visibility: An IBM survey reveals that 61% of organizations struggle with maintaining visibility into who accesses their data and how it's used.
  • Consequences: Poor visibility can lead to insider threats, unauthorized access, and data misuse.
  • Regulatory Challenges: As data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA evolve, the average cost of non-compliance can reach $14.82 million (IAPP report).

Do You Know Where Your Data Is?

DATA: Control, Governance, & Compliance

To address these challenges, businesses must adopt a proactive approach to data management that prioritizes visibility, control, and security. This begins with conducting a comprehensive data audit to identify all data sources, repositories, and access points within the organization. By gaining a clear understanding of where data is located and how it is being used, businesses can implement appropriate security measures and access controls to safeguard sensitive information.

Furthermore, organizations should leverage data management tools and technologies that provide real-time visibility into data usage, access patterns, and security incidents. From data loss prevention (DLP) solutions to identity and access management (IAM) platforms, investing in the right tools can help businesses monitor and manage their data more effectively, reducing the risk of data breaches and compliance violations.

The question of whether you really know where your data is cannot be taken lightly. In an era of increasing data complexity and regulatory scrutiny, businesses must take proactive steps to gain visibility into their data landscape and implement robust security controls to protect sensitive information. By prioritizing data governance, security, and compliance, organizations can mitigate the risks associated with bad data management and ensure their data remains a strategic asset rather than a liability.

Strategies for Effective Data Management

  • Proactive Measures: Conducting comprehensive data audits to identify all data sources, repositories, and access points is crucial.
  • Technological Solutions: Investing in data management tools like DLP solutions and IAM platforms enhances real-time visibility and security.
  • Importance of Data Governance: Prioritizing data governance helps mitigate risks and ensures data remains a strategic asset.

A Comprehensive Data Audit is Critical

Beyond Traditional BI: Harnessing Modern Data Management for Competitive Advantage

Traditional business intelligence (BI) tools are often ill-equipped to meet the demands of today's rapidly evolving business landscape. Built primarily for analyzing historical data, these tools lack the agility and functionality required to generate actionable insights that drive future value. Additionally, traditional BI solutions are not optimized for business users or multi-sided business models, requiring extensive technical expertise and hindering collaboration across organizations.

The Limitations of Traditional Business Intelligence

  • Inadequacies: Traditional BI tools, designed for historical data analysis, lack the agility needed for today's dynamic business environment.
  • Technical Barriers: These tools require extensive technical expertise, which can hinder collaboration and limit usability for business users.

To overcome these limitations, businesses must embrace modern data management and analytics platforms. These platforms offer intuitive interfaces, self-service capabilities, and advanced analytics features that empower business users to derive actionable insights from data without relying on IT or data science teams. By leveraging real-time data analysis and predictive capabilities, businesses can stay ahead of the competition, adapt quickly to market changes, and seize new opportunities for growth and innovation. In today's data-driven world, making the switch to modern analytics solutions is essential for unlocking the full potential of data and driving long-term success.

Embracing Modern Data Management and Analytics Platforms

  • Advantages: Modern platforms offer intuitive interfaces, self-service capabilities, and advanced analytics, empowering business users to derive actionable insights without dependency on IT.
  • Benefits: Leveraging real-time data analysis and predictive capabilities allows businesses to adapt quickly to market changes and capture new opportunities.

Modern Platforms Put Data Science Capabilities in the Hands of All Business Users

Modern end-to-end data management & analytics platform

There is exciting news for businesses looking to revolutionize their data management and analytics. Introducing a modern end-to-end data management & analytics platform that seamlessly integrates with your workflows: Insightify by H2K Labs. Empower your business users to tackle their most pressing data challenges with ease and efficiency. Say goodbye to data silos and hello to streamlined insights! 

  • Complete 360° view of your business
  • Data Warehousing, ETL/Reverse ETL, Machine Learning/AI, Reporting, Analytics, Visualization
  • Purpose-built for business users and self-service reporting and dashboard customization
  •  Fast, bespoke implementation
  • Architected for media, events, business information, marketing services, and adjacent SaaS solutions

Are you ready to get revved up? H2K Labs can help. We have strategies to help you drive growth, innovation, and profitability. Power your revenue growth – contact us today to learn more!

About The Author

Mitch Peipert, CPA and H2K Labs Advisor

Mitch Peipert is a 4x CFO and 4x Board Member. He is a seasoned financial executive with over three decades of experience in driving business growth and optimizing financial performance. With a strong background in accounting and finance, Mitch has held key leadership positions in various industries, including technology, telecommunications, performance marketing, and public accounting (most notably for Grant Thornton). His expertise lies in strategic financial planning, operational leadership, and business development.

Follow me on: LinkedIn &  Twitter

Got Room for Revenue in your inbox?

Join The Revenue Room™

Get complimentary access to The Revenue Room's™ exclusive content, designed to maximize your revenues. Sign up today!

By checking the box, you consent to H2K Labs storing your information to receive communications from The Revenue Room™ by H2K Labs. You can unsubscribe at any time via the unsubscribe link in any communication you receive from us.