Information Governance

File Share Lost and Found

Making sense of the dark data mess

Making sense of the dark data mess

Does your hard drive look like a lost and found bin? Mine sure does.

We have all experienced the frustration of losing something in a public place. At first, you retrace your steps hoping to find that jacket you misplaced. As you backtrack, fighting the crowd with your eyes peeled for any signs of a blue jacket, you realize that someone must have found it. They must have turned it in to the lost and found.

While that may give you a glimmer of hope in that scenario, should it? Even if your jacket is “found,” you still need someone to retrieve it from a timeless stash of forgotten items.

Sometimes the quest to find a specific document or file in a file share can feel like a game of 20 Questions. “Which blue jacket was that?” “Does it have your name on it?” “When did you lose it?” That’s exactly how I treat my folders in the share drive. “What was that contract ID number?” “Did I save it to this folder or that one?” “When did I save it last?”

Now extrapolate that unwieldy methodology out to your entire organization's file share. Is everybody treating their documents and storage that way? They are? Uh oh. That’s thousands and thousands of people running their own mismatched, uncatalogued lost and founds. As individuals, we’re probably capable of managing several hundred (even a few thousand) files in such a hodge-podge fashion. But at a company level? Good luck.

For years now, we’ve been hearing customers and prospective customers alike ask for a way to find, track, and analyze “dark data.” Gaining control and organization of such content is key to improving productivity and access to data. Finally, that capability is here. ZL File Analysis and Management is designed to convert your lost and found from a disorganized cardboard bin into a meticulously governed digital library of content. No more guessing about what people may looking for or accessing. ZL Enterprise Analytics™ gives you the insight and key statistics you need to maintain more up-to-date ACL permissions, or a more efficient and defensible retention schedule… just to name a few examples.

It’s time to shine a light on your dark data. Let’s make sure it’s actually found immediately when it’s needed, and not just (lost and) “found.”

I work to assist organizations in both the public and private sectors tackle issues of information management in the most secure and economic ways possible. My goal is to see every ZL customer get the most out of our solution, and use my experiences to help keep ZL’s software on the cutting edge. I draw from my background in politics and economics to maintain a fresh outlook on the industry, and exercise my analytical muscles using my healthy obsession with basketball statistics.