When it comes to data we live in a world of abundance.
Databases are powerful and it has become easy to capture and hoard enormous amounts of data. It is also very cheap to store yuuuuuuge amounts of data with very little visible repercussion.
Both of these factors have also made it easy to lose sight of the purpose and intention of the data.
Dedatafy as a concept came to me while learning about minimalism. The presenter did not get into the technicals of becoming a minimalist, instead they dug into the emotional side. Why do people overburden themselves with storing vast amounts of stuff? Their view resonated a lot, we keep items because they are our physical manifestation of the emotion we experiences towards an event or person in our past.
Data hoarding is similar in regards to it being an attachment to something that happened with your organization in the past.
When it comes to technology, in particular data, we need to remain conscious that some data is transactional and once it serves its purpose it can be safely discarded. For example, if we are hosting an event we will have a registration process, we will use that registration data for an attendance sheet and perhaps for a follow up email after the event.
Keeping data which no longer has a purpose means to things to your organization, more data to manage and the introduction of complexities in new development. Development having the most risk as outdated data structures can affect functional development, increasing cost and bugs.
While data hoarding has become easy and cheap I would like to pivot you towards the concept of dedatafication or only keeping the data which is necessary for survival.
Dedatafy is a concept you can implement within your organization. It is the process of identifying the data which you absolutely need and getting rid of or backing up data of which you are unsure.
It requires communicating with your entire team to identify which data each organization function requires. Mapping out the overlap. And to come out with your set of survival data.Need guidance? We've run this process many times for associations and not-for-profits and would be happy to help your organization. Just shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org