Determining the Cause Of Data Fragmentation

Determining the Cause Of Data Fragmentation

However, not every organization wants its data fragmented. Just like there can be advantages, there are also potential downsides. So, if you want to keep your information in a single chunk, you need to understand the main causes of data fragmentation.

What Does Data Fragmentation Mean?

If you’re not sure what the term data fragmentation means, it refers to the practice of having small bits of data stored across multiple devices like servers. For example, instead of having last year’s profit reports all on one storage device, it’s broken up into smaller sections.

Maybe the data is divided by month, week, or even by day. You can choose to divide the data into smaller sections, or it can happen without your knowledge.

Common Causes of Data Fragmentation

If you’re not purposefully fragmenting your data, you probably want to identify the cause. Chances are, it’s a result of your normal business operations.

Copied Data

If you’re not sure what copied data is, the explanation is fairly simple. When you duplicate the supplied information, it’s considered copying the data.

So, when does copied data occur? If you’re using data silos, you know the systems and programs that store your data but aren’t connected to other systems and programs, the information needs to be copied for others to have access.

Testing and analyzing the data can also result in copies. Remember, the data is being stored on a non-connected system. When the data is improperly managed, you frequently end up with copies. Another potential issue can occur when the data isn’t copied correctly. Now you have copies of inaccurate data taking up valuable storage space.

So, how can you avoid creating secondary copies, especially ones with inaccuracies? An effective way is to connect the data instead of making copies. Once the data is connected to the system or program, everyone has access to the original file.

Users can make changes when necessary to the original file. If testing is being performed, ensure all copies are deleted instead of being stored. Sometimes, this may take additional training, especially if your staff routinely saves any data they copy.

Data Silos

Businesses frequently use data silos since they’re effective and efficient data storage options. The primary downside, as mentioned earlier, is these silos are independent of your other systems and programs, which means anytime someone needs to access the data, a copy usually needs to be made. Now you’re accumulating data fragments across more than one device.

An example of how a data silo can cause data fragmentation is if your sales and marketing teams both have customer lists stored in different locations. Neither team can access the other’s data since the silos aren’t connected to the business’s network.

One team may update their customer information, leaving the other with inaccurate data. Even when both teams correctly update the data, you’re still dealing with multiple copies.

Eliminating silos and allowing teams to share a single database is an effective way of preventing this cause of data fragmentation. If you’re worried about consumer privacy issues, you should already have security protocols in place to address this issue.

Sharing Files

File sharing is a common business practice; it’s also an essential one. Every time you share a file with someone, there’s a chance duplicate data is being created. The same data can be stored across multiple connected devices, resulting in more than one copy.

A quick example is when you share a saved file with a team member and they also save it to their device. The server now has multiple copies of the same data. To eliminate this cause of data fragmentation, you can take advantage of file-hosting technology like the cloud.

While the cloud isn’t your only option, it is a common solution. The cloud is flexible and scalable, so it can easily meet your business needs. Another way to prevent duplicate data during file sharing is to guarantee that all unused and copied files are deleted.

Preventing Data Fragmentation Going Forward

You may not be able to prevent all types of data fragmentation in your organization, but you can take steps to help minimize the potential problem.

Sharing files on a connected system and deleting extra copies is a good start. Don’t forget about taking advantage of file-hosting technologies. Doing so allows you to share data without worrying about making duplicates.

When it comes to preventing data fragmentation, proactive measures are key. Implementing robust data management practices ensures that information remains cohesive and easily accessible across your organization.

In today’s interconnected digital landscape, managing data effectively is paramount to maintaining a competitive edge. By understanding the causes of data fragmentation and implementing proactive strategies to address them, organizations can ensure that their data remains a valuable asset rather than a liability.

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our top stories.

We are continuously putting out relevant content. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

Ready to dominate social media?

Get started now.

Image Description