A guide to cleaning up your digital data

Most organisations have embraced hybrid working. Yet in practice they often stumble over information management, which is usually insufficiently organised. Where do you store information securely and how do you efficiently share your files? How do you comply with laws and regulations? A huge challenge for IT managers, administrators and information managers. A good way to start is cleaning your data. Although Digital Clean-up Day was 18th March you can still clean up your data. We provide you a guide to cleaning up your digital data.

Map your data sources

Where is which company information stored? Data sources within organisations are very diverse, such as network drives, archives, applications for finance or marketing, or other cloud services. Also personal and business data often get mixed up. As a business it is important to take a look at each application to see which information is stored where and make a distinction between personal and business data.

Make sure to map out which information is available for which employee. Also take sensitive business information into account. A complete inventory of all data sources within the organisation makes it clear where all information is stored and which information may need to be migrated to the Microsoft 365 platform.

Determine the data policy

Once all data sources have been mapped, the information architecture can be determined. It’s time to make choices about how data is handled. Where should which information be stored, who can access which data and where should information be archived? General laws and regulations, such as the GDPR, and sometimes specific rules must also be taken into account. The result of this step is an information architecture: the blueprint of how the organisation wants to deal with data.

A guide to cleaning up your digital data

Prepare well for data migration

As your organisation now has a clear view of which data sources are available and which policy is being applied, you can start the migration of all data to the new environment. But before starting data migration, it is smart to first critically investigate whether all data needs to be migrated. The same information is often stored in several places and in different versions.

Make day-to-day work processes together

Securing knowledge about how work is done within the organisation is very important. Only then can you ensure a sustainable way of storing, sharing and finding information. But how do you do this? By making clear working agreements, together with departments and other stakeholders. The dialogue and discussion create direct involvement in and support for the change. An example of such a working agreement is: store information in one location (and specify which location that is). This prevents multiple versions from being created and colleagues recreating and sharing the same information.

Clean, archive and migrate data

When you have completed the above steps, it is time for the actual digital cleaning. It is the last and most important step in this whole process. By working per department, this digital cleaning becomes less complex. Together with the employees of the relevant department, you make a plan to clean up, archive and transfer data to the new environment. A crucial component is data awareness. Employees must realise that they have an essential role in data hygiene, so that the available data is (and remains) of high quality. Therefore, explain each work agreement properly and coach employees to develop the right knowledge and skills at department level.

Tech-Wales Data Management Software

At Tech-Wales we can write bespoke applications and software to help your business manage your data. We have can develop a wide variety of business applications tailor made for your business. Especially reporting and business intelligence software is a vital tool for your business for advance data reporting. Feel free to contact us today to discuss your requirements.