Is Data Oil or Water? How to Protect Your Company’s Most Valuable Resource

In the 1800s and most of the 1900s, the world’s most valuable asset was oil. Then in the Information Age, data replaced oil as a company’s source of power and wealth. Unfortunately, companies have continued to treat their data as an asset, like oil. Amassing, controlling, and protecting data became the key to building corporate empires like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

IDC, however, has posited that data is less like oil than water. What they mean is data is no longer an asset; it is a necessity. Data has become the very lifeblood of an organization. Without water, nothing would exist. If Google didn’t have its data, it would cease to exist.

Most companies are in this position today. If you don’t have information, you don’t have a company.

Whether it’s an asset or a necessity, oil or water, the irony is we have tons of information, yet we have limited intelligence about it. What are the main problems that prevent companies from extracting insights from their data?

Companies keep accumulating data in disparate locations

The first problem is that data is everywhere, from on-premises file servers to cloud storage, email, instant messaging, and applications, and the data is increasing at a rate of 20% year over year. The data is also becoming increasingly chaotic and costly to maintain. Can you believe some companies have a policy of keeping all of their data and never deleting anything? How can your company effectively organize, manage, and connect overflowing data stores in disparate locations to make that data more searchable and usable?

The regulatory environment is complicated and shifting

The second problem is we have more and more rules to comply with, from a regulatory standpoint, as well as the internal policies that each organization defines for themselves regarding a data’s lifecycle. Further complicating matters is the fact that companies are subject to different rules regarding the disposal or archiving of data or data privacy standards, for example, depending on the company’s industry, clients or jurisdiction. How does a company simplify and untangle the morass of regulations, which are only becoming more complicated as new laws are written, and apply those rules to corporate data in a holistic, automated way that will not overwhelm a company’s resources?

Dark data never gets indexed

The third problem is that about 50% of all data is “dark data,” meaning data that nobody understands and nobody can tell you much about. Anytime you are dealing with an unknown element, you subject your company to an immense amount of risk that will eventually become problematic and will need to be addressed. How can you make meaningful business decisions and use your data if you don’t have all the information?

The answer to all of these questions is creating a detailed data inventory, using automated tools to find and classify information and organize that massive sprawl.

Using powerful classifiers and policies, your data management platform can analyze your data to:


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  • Categorize each file
  • Identify risk level
  • Apply and enforce policies for access or protection
  • Move files to relieve the burden on infrastructure or budget
  • Leverage files for business analytics
  • Defensibly delete information that’s no longer useful

The Aparavi Platform is THE data intelligence solution that creates actionable intelligence from your data. It encompasses several different fundamental pillars to organize data throughout its lifecycle from beginning to end, with automation and efficiency for an optimized data management workflow. The Platform was designed to encompass all the necessary functions of effective information management and address the problems faced by companies today. Who says oil and water don’t mix?

Join us for our upcoming webinar, Aparavi Roundtable: Data Management Chaos to Information Insight, featuring guest speaker Ryan O’Leary from IDC, to find out how Aparavi can solve your pressing data management issues!