Data deserves to be loved

You don’t often hear someone say “I love data”. Data isn’t considered romantic. People don’t typically speak of it in emotional, sentimental terms. But that’s a problem. Data is one of the most important things for any business and without it, they could not function. Data deserves our attention, our care, and our respect.

Here’s a scenario to help you understand why I love data. Imagine you arrive at work, make yourself a coffee and hit your computer’s power button. It’s unresponsive. You try again, multiple times, and even give it a bit of a shake, but for whatever reason it doesn’t turn on. Your computer has drawn its last electric breath and passed on to that great mainframe in the sky.

You call the doctor – I mean, the IT repair specialist – in a fluster and they rush around, they poke and prod the cables before telling you it’s no good. Your computer is gone and it’s not coming back and neither is everything that was on it. Now, here comes the terrifying part: you didn’t back up your data.

As you drive home from work you take stock of everything that’s now lost: client and employee contracts? Goodbye. The notes you jotted down during yesterday’s big meeting? Gone forever. The photos from last year’s out-of-hand Christmas party? Never to be seen again. Well, that could be a positive, but that’s beside the point. With one device’s demise, years of meaningful memories and work have been wiped out, never to return.

Do I sound dramatic? This sort of thing happens to businesses every day. And the reason for all this heartache is simple: too many people still don’t give data the love it deserves. Our technology may have advanced rapidly, but our understanding of what it is and what it does could use some work. And the concept people are most uninformed about is data.

Our apps and our software have advanced so heavily that we are no longer required to understand how they work in order to enjoy them. If we truly want to master our machines, we need to begin by understanding data.

If businesses were people, they would bleed data. Without it, they’re out of business.

IT providers have a handy calculator that can help them explain to a dentist in Perth, say, how much money she’d lose if for some reason her patient files were unavailable for a few days. They can tell a plumber in Brisbane exactly how much it would cost him to have his billing files wiped out.

Businesses also need to factor in the cost of time spent trying to retrieve or recreate their data. The cost of downtime can be the most damaging of all.

In our information age, when businesses depend on managing and maximising information, these arguments go a long way. This is why the data protection and recovery industry is probably the fastest-growing industry you’ve never heard of.

James Bergl, Regional Director – ANZ, Datto

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