‘It might come in handy one day.’
Growing up we had a room in the basement called the ‘store room’. It was full of jams, canned fruit, flour, and lots of other preserved food. It also had countless empty jars, lids, tupperware, yoghurt pots, and so on. My Mom was the queen of reusing, recycling, and reducing long before it was cool. Therefore, little was thrown out as ‘it might come in handy one day’.
Over the years, there were moments of culling. Moments when the store room was so full of empty containers, there was no room for full ones. A culling occured, space was created.
We see this all the time in data management. Data is kept or collected ‘just in case’. Over time the data just sits there, never being used, but we go on keeping in and collecting it. Because it is digital, it is easier to collect and easier to keep. A server on the cloud somewhere takes up less room than a room full of binders and paper. So we keep it. We justify it.
We need regular ‘culling days’. Days each year or perhaps each month where we delete unused data. AND we need those doing the culling to tell those doing the collecting to stopping collecting it.
We need less than we think. What do you need to cull today?