How to Detect Data Fragmentation in Your Organization

Data Fragmentation in Businesses

Some organizations want to fragment some or all of their data. The reasons can vary significantly but it works for their organization.

However, other businesses don’t want their data spread out across multiple servers and storage devices. They want all of their data in nice, big chunks without multiple copies.

Unfortunately, preventing data fragmentation can be an uphill battle, especially if you’re not sure how to detect the issue. There are best practices for detecting data fragmentation, but it also helps to understand what’s causing the issue.

Common Causes of Data Fragmentation in Businesses

Most, if not all, businesses out there today rely on data to make accurate decisions. When your data is being separated and stored across different devices it’s often difficult for team members to access and analyze the information.

So, what causes data fragmentation? You may be dealing with one or multiple causes. Here’s a look at some of the common reasons your data may be fragmented.

Inadequate Data Governance Policies

When was the last time you reviewed your data management policies? If you need to take a few minutes to come up with an answer, this may be the cause of your data fragmentation issues. While you don’t need to review and update your data management policies daily or even monthly, it’s a good idea to look them over at least once a year.

Why are data management policies important? These policies help prevent data from being endlessly duplicated and spread out across multiple systems. When data is constantly being copied, inaccuracies are common and this can affect your ability to make critical decisions about your business operations.

Having set guidelines in place is an essential part of any effective data management policy. You may also want to ensure all data is stored in a centralized location so this way, everyone has access to the information without needing to make duplicate copies.

Using Outdated Technology

Yes, technology is constantly advancing and the system you installed a few years ago may be close to being considered outdated. Your legacy systems may be running just fine but they’re probably not compatible with modern data management solutions. This often means you’re creating data silos which may or may not be a good thing.

Some organizations like using data silos since the information is a little more secure. Data silos are typically not connected to your other systems. This means if a security breach occurs, hackers probably aren’t going to be able to access data stored in the silo.

While this can be an advantage, it’s typically outweighed by the downsides. Every time someone needs to share the data in the silo, they make a copy. You may start with only two copies of the same data, but pretty soon it can snowball into multiple duplicates. There’s also the issue of errors occurring in the data every time someone makes a copy.

Not only are you potentially dealing with inaccurate data, but essential users can’t easily access the information they need to perform their duties.

Poor Quality Data

When we’re discussing the quality of your data, we’re referring to information that’s either inaccurate or incomplete. For example, your data only contains part of last year’s sales reports or the information doesn’t match up with your other metrics.

When this happens, it’s difficult to integrate the data with your other applications and systems. If the data is integrated successfully, there’s always a question about its accuracy lingering in the back of your mind. When you can’t trust your data, it’s difficult to make decisions.

Not Integrating Your Systems

Are your systems running separately from each other? Yes, this can add another layer of security to your data. But there are more effective ways to ensure your information is safe from hackers.

When you’re storing your data across multiple non-connected systems and in different formats, accessing the information can be challenging. Users will have trouble locating and finding the information they need, you’re also risking creating data silos.

An example is if your marketing team needs access to your customer list. If the information is scattered across multiple systems, it’s time-consuming and frustrating to locate everything. If the data is necessary to launch a product or send invitations to an upcoming event, by the time the information is finally located it may be too late to use it. Now, you’re missing out on an opportunity to potentially boost sales.

Tips on Detecting and Eliminating Data Fragmentation

Thankfully, detecting data fragmentation is a relatively simple process. You have access to plenty of tools that can easily detect data fragmentation. Some tools focus on your database by analyzing inconsistencies and response times. These tools can also look at data storage patterns.

Along with database, storage, and performance monitoring tools, you can also use software that tracks data lineage. If the data spread out across multiple systems is coming from a single source, the tool can identify the problem. After detecting data fragmentation, you’re ready to start working on solutions.

Improve Your Data Governance Policy

If it’s been a while since you updated your data management policy, now’s a good time to start. Make sure it includes clear guidance on how to copy, store, and delete files. If one team member makes a copy of a data file, ensure they know the steps to delete the duplicate when finished. In other words, press the Delete key instead of opting to save the file.

Invest in Advanced Data Management Solutions

Yes, this will take time and resources, but investing in advanced data management solutions can have a relatively quick ROI (return on investment). The money you spend updating your legacy technology can help you save on labor. Employees aren’t spending hours searching for data stored on multiple systems.

With quick and easy access to stored data, you can make comprehensive decisions that can help your business grow.

Eliminating Data Fragmentation Is Good for Most Businesses

Eliminating data fragmentation makes good business sense. Most organizations don’t need multiple copies of their data or bits of information stored on multiple servers.

Preventing data fragmentation may take some time and effort, and you may even need to update your system, but the end result is having easy access to accurate and complete data whenever needed.

Adopting this streamlined approach improves efficiency, reduces storage costs, and enhances decision-making by ensuring that everyone in your organization is working with the same reliable information.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved