I often see bumper stickers and posters saying, ‘A dog is for life, not just for Christmas.’ The reminder is simple and clear. When our dog has been ill or wakes me up in the middle of the night, this phrase usually pops into my mind. Having a dog, or any pet for that matter, comes with responsibilities. Even when you don’t want to them, the responsibilities are still there.
Data and digital tools are somewhat similar. They can feel like a bit like exciting shiny toys, but we often don’t think about the long term. We forget we need to take dogs for walks everyday, regardless of the weather. With data and digital solutions there are ongoing maintenance costs, upgrades, and of course digital solutions never exist in a vacuum, they are always a part of an ever-evolving ecosystem. And data too comes with responsibility, especially personal and sensitive data. And data sticks around for life – or it’s life, which is forever unless we delete it.
So data and digital solutions are for life, not just something fun to unwrap and then forget about.