How to Decide Which Business Data to Archive

business
December 29, 2022
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When it comes to business data, it’s not a question of if you should archive it, but rather how you should archive it. With so many factors to consider — from the costs of storage to the ease of retrieval — it can be tough to know where to start.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through some of the key considerations businesses should make when deciding which data to archive. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s involved in the process and be better equipped to make the right decision for your business.

Take an inventory of their data and determine what is absolutely essential

As businesses increasingly rely on data to make decisions, it is becoming more important to have a clear understanding of what data is essential to the business and what can be classified as “nice to have”.

There are a few key considerations that businesses should keep in mind when taking this inventory.

  • First, they should consider the amount of data they have and how quickly it is growing. If a business has a large volume of data that is growing rapidly, it may not be practical to keep all of it on hand. In this case, it may be necessary to archive some of the data in order to free up space.
  • Another consideration is the format of the data. Some data formats are more difficult to work with than others, so it may be necessary to keep only certain types of data in an easily accessible format.
  • Finally, businesses should consider how often they need to access the data. Data that is accessed frequently will need to be kept in a more readily accessible format than data that is accessed less often.

Decide for how long you need to keep this data

When deciding which business data to archive, organizations should also consider how long they need to keep the data accessible. In some cases, data may need to be retained indefinitely. However, in other cases, it may only be necessary to keep data for a specific period of time.

Organizations should consider several factors when determining how long to keep data accessible. These factors include the legal requirements for data retention, the financial cost of storing data, and the operational impact of keeping data accessible.

Legal Requirements

In some cases, the decision of how long to keep data access may be dictated by legal requirements. That’s why it’s important to have clear data archiving and data retention policies.

For example, many jurisdictions have laws that require businesses to retain certain types of records for a specified period of time. Financial institutions are often subject to such laws. Failure to comply with these laws can result in significant penalties.

The cost of storing data

The cost of storing data is another important factor to consider. Organizations should also consider the costs of archiving data – both in terms of storage and manpower. 

Storing large amounts of data can be expensive, especially if the data is stored in a proprietary format that requires special hardware or software.

In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to delete data after a certain period of time rather than continue storing it indefinitely.

The operational impact

Finally, organizations should also consider the operational impact of retaining data. Keeping large amounts of data accessible can place a burden on IT systems and increase the risk of data security breaches.

For these reasons, it is often preferable to limit the amount of data that is kept accessible and to delete older data that is no longer needed.

Think about how easy it will be to retrieve this data

When deciding which business data to archive, organizations should not only think about how long they need to keep the data accessible but also how easy it will be to retrieve the data should they need it.

In some cases, businesses may need to keep data for a specific period of time, while in other cases businesses may want or need to keep the data indefinitely.

Businesses need to consider how often they will need to access the archived data and how easy it will be to retrieve it. If businesses need to frequently access archived data, they will want to make sure that it is stored in a format that makes retrieval easy. If businesses only need to occasionally access archived data, they may be able to store it in a more difficult-to-retrieve format.

Over to you

When making the decision on which business data to archive, organizations should balance all of the factors mentioned above.

The legal requirements, the cost of storage, and the operational impact of retaining data should all be taken into consideration.

In some cases, it may be necessary to keep data for a specific period of time, while in other cases, data may need to be retained indefinitely. The costs of archiving data should also be weighed against the benefits of doing so.

Finally, businesses should consider how easy it will be to retrieve the data should they need it.

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