Don’t Get Buried Alive This Halloween!

Written by Doug Austin, Editor of eDiscovery Today

Sunday is Halloween and it’s a great time for a post with a scary theme. For those who read this blog, it may not be ghosts, goblins, werewolves, witches and zombies that are scary – it may be something even more real and terrifying:

The fear of being buried alive!

Buried alive by data, that is.

More Big Data Stats

Last year on this blog, I discussed the enormous growth of “Big data”, which is the term used to describe the large volume and variety of data – both structured and unstructured – that overloads a business on a day-to-day basis. I provided a few eye-opening stats then – but that was last year! Here are a few more stats to give you a sense of the magnitude of the “Big data” challenge within organizations:

And with employees at many organizations working remotely for more than 19 months and counting, “Big data” is continuing to get more dispersed within organizations as well.

Are You Afraid of the Dark and the ROT?

This is another scary theme for Halloween.

But, in this case, I’m talking about dark data and redundant, obsolete or trivial (ROT) data within organizations. A recent report found that at least 85% of stored data is either dark or ROT data, making it even more challenging for organizations to effectively managing their data.

Last year, I wrote about Eight Considerations for Defensible Deletion in a two part blog series. To reiterate the eight best practices, here is a list of them:

  • Understand Why Defensible Deletion is Important
  • Address the Changing Data Privacy Landscape
  • Get Stakeholder Buy-In
  • Create an Organizational Data Map
  • Get An Assist from Technology
  • Keep Your Records Retention Policy Current
  • Extend Defensible Deletion to BYOD Devices
  • Document Thoroughly

As for dark data, the ability for organizations to leverage analytics and artificial intelligence technology throughout the organization is enabling them to shine a light on the dark data more and more.

A Strong Information Governance Program is Key

Leveraging technology is even more effective when it is built on the foundation of a strong information governance program. Of course, the key to effective information governance is meeting the needs of the stakeholder groups within your organization. EDRM’s Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) reflects the stakeholder groups involved in information governance, which includes Legal, Records Management (RIM), Information Technology (IT), Privacy & Security and Business Units.

Are you afraid that’s all I have to say on the subject? Not at all – in fact, I already said it.

Last year on this blog, I discussed the five stakeholder groups in a series and the links for each of them in the previous paragraph point to each post in that series. A strong information governance that addresses the goals and considerations of the five stakeholder groups keep your organization from being buried alive in data that you can’t effectively use.


Halloween monsters in stories and movies are scary in large part because they’re unknown. Leveraging technology along with a strong Information Governance program is the silver bullet to defeat the Wolfman, the stake in the heart to defeat Dracula, and the splash of water to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. None of those are real, but Big data, dark data and ROT data are.

Don’t get buried alive by the data within your organization! And have a Happy Halloween!

Learn more about how IPRO helps organizations reduce ROT data and establish a strong Information Governance program.

And for more educational topics from me related to eDiscovery, cybersecurity and data privacy, feel free to follow my blog, eDiscovery Today!