When things go wrong, those who are prepared fare the best. There are countless versions of this sentiment. Perhaps one the simplest comes from the Scouts and their ‘Be Prepared’ principle. And while we all know it is helpful ‘being prepared’, we procrastinate. Whether it is about creating a will (I’m too young to die), creating an emergency fund (I can’t afford it), or having an evacuation plan (I’ll never need it). We all have competing priorities for our time. This is true in our personal lives and in our professional and organisational lives.
Various events in the past 12 months have reminded those of us working with data (that’s most of us!) that part of ‘being prepared’ is knowing where your data is. Sounds silly, even a bit ridiculous, and yet we often we don’t know. And when we go on a bit of a ‘treasure hunt’ we realise our data is spread all over. Sometimes this doesn’t matter, but when it is personal data about those we work with and we need to delete it quickly, it is a problem.
So to help, we created a very simple data inventory mapping tool to help you map where your data is kept (and also, why are you collecting it in the first place). Again, it is not perfect, but hopefully it helps you on a journey. And no, this is not the magic bullet for being prepared, but it is a good first step.
The choice is up to us.
Useful first step template, thank you!