Data lives everywhere.
From cloud servers, personal drives, and individual share sites to network drives and corporate repositories — we live and breathe data wherever we go.
And with organizations shifting to digital methods to manage their content and physical record keeping nearing obsoletion, it makes sense that there’s more data living in these systems than ever before.
Most of this data, however, is unstructured.
Unstructured data is content that cannot fit easily into traditional databases or predefined structures. It includes valuable information such as proposals, contract numbers, presentations, data from design mockups, and engineering drawings. This information exists in various documents, records, files, and other valuable media; but cannot be easily located, extracted, used, or referenced. Consequently, businesses retain extensive amounts of data far longer than needed.
Organizations turn to data governance solutions to solve this problem. These data governance solutions help businesses identify and manage their data safely and efficiently.
How, you ask?
It all begins with ROT content.
Identifying ROT with Content Management Software
The majority of content stored in an organization’s data servers and file shares is often redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT).
ROT content includes file duplicates, unreliable or out-of-date information, and trivial data that is unimportant or useless to your organization. This data bogs down your content management systems (CMS) and Enterprise Content Management systems (ECM) without adding any business value.
As the volume of unstructured and ROT data in your file servers grows, it becomes harder to locate, manage, and safeguard. In turn, unmanaged content can cause a host of problems for your organization — such as increased overhead costs, performance issues, and data security risks.
That said, you’ll want to limit the amount of ROT data within your organization and take actionable steps to manage your content.
A ROT content audit is the perfect place to start.
How Do You Find ROT Content?
The first step in managing ROT is to locate where it lives. For this to be effective, you need to sift through extensive amounts of documents and files within any given system or storage location. Given the sheer amount of data that exists within an organization, this can be a daunting task.
A content management tool from Shinydocs can automate this process for you, so you can improve your decision making. This software identifies and locates ROT across your data servers and file shares to gain insights into every area of your business.
With an automated system in place, even users unfamiliar with searching servers or databases can find what they are looking for — and then decide what to do with it to speed up data operations.
To Delete or To Not Delete
Upon discovering the considerable amount of ROT within your organization’s databases, your first instinct may be to press ‘delete’ and start fresh.
This, however, isn’t an option. While identifying and eliminating some ROT can significantly reduce data clutter in your organization’s file servers, you can’t simply press the ‘delete’ button and call it a day.
ROT often includes sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII) and other content that is necessary for regulatory compliance. In other words, you must ensure that your organization is properly storing and retaining digital records, even if the information holds no strategic value.
To delete ROT, you need to be able to defend the decision, which means you have to know what your content contains.
If You Can’t Delete ROT Data, What Can You Do with It?
A ROT content audit helps your organization identify and locate unnecessary content. But it can also shine a light on more significant problems in your organization, such as operational inefficiencies and security risks.
With this information, your organization can develop a thorough content strategy and strengthen its data governance efforts to solve system-wide content problems.
The Importance of Smart Data Governance
Data governance is a framework for managing content. It includes a set of policies, processes, and procedures that control the flow of information within an organization.
Data governance ensures the integrity of your data at all times. It helps your company safeguard, manage, and control data, ultimately improving security in your enterprise content management system. With a data governance strategy in place, you can identify any weaknesses in your current system and make improvements to them before they become problematic.
Data governance also helps your company maintain complete control over all sensitive information while reducing the risks associated with data breaches and other forms of cybercrime.
By having a clearly defined structure for managing your data, you will be able to reduce the risk of unauthorized access or misuse of information and mitigate any potential damage caused by such incidents when they occur.
The scope of data governance covers the protection and maintenance of corporate data and its security and privacy. As such, a data governance strategy is crucial to address compliance requirements and protect your organization from legal liabilities related to information security, including data breaches and privacy law violations.
Your organization must follow federal laws regarding how it treats customers’ data such as names, addresses, or Social Security numbers. If, for example, a hacker gains unauthorized access to your customer records database, they could steal this private information and use it for malicious purposes. You will be liable for the breach if you do not take the proper steps to protect your data from unauthorized access and misuse.
How Content Management Can Help Your Organization
Data governance is crucial for creating, implementing, and maintaining a consistent and secure digital data ecosystem. It ensures that your organization’s data is safe, reliable, and accessible from anywhere at any time, and is continually optimized for decision-making.
By implementing an effective data governance framework, you can significantly improve content management within your company.
This can help your organization in the following ways:
Make Informed Decisions
When properly managed, your data can provide more insight into customer behavior and reveal opportunities for company growth.
For instance, a company investigating its recent sales can pinpoint trends in customer behavior over time. You can then leverage these insights to develop new sales campaigns, products, and services or refine existing offerings.
Improve Organizational Efficiency
Effective content management reduces clutter and keeps your content servers and file shares from bogging down. This, in turn, can streamline your organization’s productivity by enabling employees to locate files faster and making them more accessible to do their jobs, all while leveraging complete system data.
Content management can be a daunting task for organizations of any size. But with the right tools and strategies, you can significantly improve your ability to manage your content and provide better value for your clients.
With Shinydocs strategy and automation software, you can identify and organize your content from one centralized location, giving you a complete understanding of what you have on hand and how to use it.
Shinydocs enables you to find and clean your content easily, so you can confidently manage your data — no matter where it lives.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’re Rethinking Data
At Shinydocs, rethinking data means constantly questioning our assumptions, reimagining what’s possible, and testing new ideas every step of the way to transform how businesses function.
We believe that there’s a better, more intuitive way for businesses to manage their data. Contact us to improve your data management, compliance, and governance.
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