Wednesday, March 16, 2011

OLD DATA is GOLD DATA

Management Tip of the Day


Data is an integral part of many decision making processes. Yet accurate and timely is data is very beneficial and helpful, in order to have a correct decision to be implemented.

But what about the researches and data that was done years ago, do you remember where are those computations right now. This Old Data is the backbone of many industries, infact of almost every industry. Risk managers want that for stress testing and monte carlo simulations, from estimating betas to VARs, for geologists and doctors and engineers, every single number and alphabet is as precious as gold is to the Indians and Chinese

Hence, i guess it has now become obvious how important this data is. Using old data can sometimes save you money and time in the collection process. Here are three ways to make sure the data you have now remains available and relevant for future use:

  1. Develop a policy. Decide what information you should keep or discard based on a set of criteria. Remember that data storage costs are dropping all the time, so lean toward keeping things whenever possible.
  2. Make data future-friendly. Create accompanying technical documents that explain how the data is used and describe any gaps or limitations.
  3. Convert when necessary. No one can predict the future, but be thoughtful about what format you use. Try to keep data in formats that will be readable in 10 or 20 years.
So the next time you collect data and information, make sure you save it in a safe place, make sure it is readable or planned enough to be sued in future and that it should be accessible. So as they say OLD DATA IS TRULY GOLD DATA.

Today's Management Tip was adapted from "How to Turn Old Data into Business Gold" by Robert Plan
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