Information Governance

Files Analysis: Get the Full Picture

Sometimes metadata analysis isn’t enough


I think I speak for a lot of students from my generation when I say that college would have been significantly more difficult if it weren’t for

Students coveted this website when it came to scheduling classes because it offered the holy grail of class-choosing metrics: difficulty. With just a single number, you could know beforehand if the class you’re looking at requires a genius level IQ or if you could probably skip it once (or maybe twice) a month. At a glance, it gave you just enough information to know whether you should take a class or steer clear.

Always read the fine print

But it wasn’t always perfect. Maybe you got yourself in way over your head with a philosophy class which required projects upon projects, tests worth half your grade, and a strict attendance policy. That helpful little metric clearly wasn't giving you the full story.

In these situations, I found myself asking one question over and over again: Why doesn’t the professor post the syllabus online so I can know EXACTLY what I’m getting myself into? It doesn’t like a crazy request, but those syllabi were never available until after the first day of class, a little too late. Go figure.

Get the full picture

But it doesn’t have to be that way when it comes to cleaning up enterprise file shares. Sure, it’s nice to use metadata scans to get a very broad view of what you have in file shares, but that broad view doesn’t give you the whole story. Sometimes that’s all you need to make a decision, but sometimes you need more than that. Sometimes you need that syllabus.

That’s where content analysis comes in. Content analysis gives companies the ability to get more than metadata, get beyond simple data points like last accessed date, ownership or size, and get into the text of the file. This offers the ability to identify documents with sensitive or private information, something metadata alone cannot guarantee.

In hindsight, we all could have benefitted from getting a nice long look at a syllabus before stepping foot in that class room. We don’t have to make that same mistake with file analysis. Do yourself a favor and find out EXACTLY what is in those pesky file shares before taking the next step on them.

My eyes have been opened to how big our data world is at ZL. In Business Development, I have been given the opportunity to show others just how important it is to govern this data effectively. I hope to do this by building strong relationships in this information governance environment we live in. Other than managing data, you can find me at a gym, a pool, or cheering on my hometown Atlanta sports teams here in the Bay Area.