What to do with dormant data?
In this data dominant landscape businesses are under a lot of pressure to capture customer information and a lot of it. One such consequence of storing huge amounts of data is a lot of it will never get used. This is what’s known as dormant data and it ’s important to understand that you will always have some amount of it in your data sets. This can happen for a number of reasons such as the data being inaccessible due to its containment in legacy systems.
“A certain amount of dormant data is proper for the data warehouse/decision support system environment. Just because a unit of data has never been accessed does not mean it is not useful and will never be accessed.” - Bill Inmon, chief technology officer of Pine Cone Systems
Our Data Services team consistently deal with clients who come to us with an accumulation of thousands of single-use data files and have no idea what to do with them. Resulting in missing out on invaluable consumer insights and lucrative opportunities that can be shared readily from bringing dormant data back to life.
Is there value in dormant data?
If collected correctly data is always of high value when first collected, however over time, this degrades. But if put to use the volume and time frame this data can span across given enough time can offer a company huge insight into their brand and audience for future reference.
Once you realise the potential that is locked away inside your dormant data you can start to plan and better put it to use.
“As businesses become more and more data-driven, it is essential to reclaim the potential of your essential legacy data.” - Geert Van Peteghem
Possessing dormant data isn’t the fault of any one person or process, data publishing is a difficult process. Only in recent years have the tools become available to allow users access to the dormant data they need.
By providing insights into how their data is being used this directly informs which datasets need to be updated, improved or even created in the first place. While this is still relatively new ground, the first step is to create the all-important two-way connection between publisher and user.
When’s it time to say goodbye
Some of the dormant data you have will have will be that way for a reason. By carrying out simple processes like a ‘generic data valorisation’ you can determine what is and isn’t useful. If any useless data is identified a disposition of that data should be carried out.
Terminating data is required by law if the party no longer need to preserve archives.
Carrying this out in a way that completely destroys any access to this data is necessary for ensuring it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. A professional asset disposition team can destroy data onsite, offsite, in bulk or tape-by-tape, going beyond degaussing to complete physical destruction. This is something we as a Data Services team made up of in-house experts is quite versed in. Data migration and purging are just some of the services we offer.
What to do with it
After purging the useless information and determining what data will be of use there are a few options available to you.
You can migrate that data to updated data systems which can then be later used for marketing/ research purposes. Or you could restore any of the corrupted data making more of the dormant data of use to you.
We recently published a blog post on why you should be outsourcing your data management, that encompasses these processes and more take a look here and see what our data services team is doing to help brands in need.
Take the first step towards valuable data
With our Data Capture app and Data services team on offer we provide all the tools necessary to unlock the value in your customer data