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Dark data is killing the planet

charlie8180

Written by charlie8180

 

Dark data is the information that organisations collect, store, and process but do not use. It is estimated that over 80% of all data is dark data. This data can include anything from old emails and files to unused customer data and sensor readings.

The Databerg

 

Dark data is a problem for a number of reasons. First, it is a waste of resources. Organisations are spending money to collect, store, and process data that they are not using. Second, dark data can be a security risk. If dark data is not properly secured, it can be accessed by hackers and used for malicious purposes. Third, dark data can be a compliance risk. Organisations that are subject to data privacy regulations, such as the GDPR, need to be able to demonstrate that they are properly managing their data.

But perhaps the most significant problem with dark data is that it is killing the planet.

Data centers consume a massive amount of energy. In fact, data centers are responsible for about 1% of global energy consumption. This energy consumption is fueled by fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change.

The more dark data that organisations have, the more energy they consume. This is because dark data still needs to be stored and processed, even if it is not being used.

In addition, dark data can also lead to the production of more physical waste. For example, if an organisation is storing old emails on paper, this paper will eventually need to be disposed of.

Organisations can reduce their dark data footprint by taking a number of steps. First, they need to identify and inventory their dark data. Once they know what dark data they have, they can develop a plan to reduce or eliminate it.

Organisations can also reduce their dark data footprint by implementing data management best practices. This includes things like regularly deleting old data and implementing data retention policies.

Finally, organisations can reduce their dark data footprint by using cloud-based storage solutions. Cloud-based storage solutions are more efficient than on-premises storage solutions, and they can help organisations to reduce their energy consumption.

By reducing their dark data footprint, organisations can save money, reduce their security and compliance risks, and help to protect the planet.

Here are some specific things that organisations can do to reduce their dark data footprint:

  • Identify and inventory your dark data. This can be done using a variety of tools and techniques, such as data discovery tools and data profiling tools.

  • Delete old data. Organisations should regularly delete old data that is no longer needed. This can be done manually or by using automated data deletion tools.

  • Implement data retention policies. Data retention policies should specify how long different types of data should be retained. This will help to ensure that data is not retained for longer than necessary.

  • Use cloud-based storage solutions. Cloud-based storage solutions are more efficient than on-premises storage solutions, and they can help organisations to reduce their energy consumption.

By taking these steps, organisations can reduce their dark data footprint and help to protect the planet.

Transformacy, as an ESG consultancy, plays a crucial role in assisting businesses on their ESG journey. We offer tailored solutions to address the unique challenges and opportunities presented by ESG transformation, ensuring that businesses in the UK can thrive while contributing to a more sustainable and responsible future.