Buzzword Briefing: What is Dark Data?


Each year ushers in a new list of new buzzwords. I decided I wanted to dig further and identify a single buzzword for this blog.  This month’s buzzword: Dark Data.

After being in this industry for 30 years, I’ve seen a lot of people and companies do a lot of different things.  However, the one consistent theme I see in every organization is data hoarding. Let’s face it, we’ve been using computers for a pretty long time now, and I can tell you one thing for certain; when we buy new servers and computers, the first thing we all seem to do is migrate every piece of data that we have.

Shedding Some Light on Dark Data

What is dark data? These are the files that we have collected (hoarded) and kept on our systems for many, many years, in some cases even decades.  We pay for larger and faster storage so we can keep these files forever.  Do we need them?  Why do we keep them?  The answer is…… time.  We don’t need these files.  If we did, they would be current.  Relevant.  They are not.  They just sit there waiting for someone to have the time to go through them and delete them.  We’re just too busy and time is money. Storage is cheap, so we just keep on hoarding.

What Can Be Done?

So what to do with all this data?  I suggest you plan a cleanup on your next server or cloud migration project.  Put some time in for each of your departments to go through their data.  Clean house.  Archive it, if necessary.

Trust me, DON’T PROCRASTINATE. It’s way easier to find and organize your files when you are not bogged down with dark data.



For more information on dark data, you can read more here from a recent article from Deloitte on further opportunities businesses can uncover with a better understanding of their current data management.


Richard A. Bongard, Inc.
Director of Network Operations, Managing Partner


F12 serves clients with IT services across canada