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The Value of Storing Data

HSGT is a subsidiary of Western Digital that sells hard disks, solid state drives and external storage products and services. The firm recently conducted some research in order to find out what the value is of storing data.

This might seem like a curious thing to research. All of us reading this right now are storing data, even if it’s something small like your web browser cache. But chances are the device you’re on also holds photos, videos, documents and more; all personal data that you have stored and which is unique, and therefore likely valuable, to you.

However, in the business world data has a value that goes beyond personal connection. Data in an enterprise can not only be stored, but it can also be analysed in order to gain insight into the company and its customers.

HGST Asia Pacific South director of distribution business, David Chau, spoke to ZDNet about the research. He said that although there’s always been an important relationship between a business and its data, that pairing has grown even more fundamental in the modern world.

The Internet of Things (IoT) - which is basically a term to describe connected devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops - have brought about a change due to the constant feeding of real-time data they provide.

“You realise that data is the currency of the new economy. Data touches us virtually every aspect of our lives. In our data-centric world it becomes essential for us to harness the power of raw data, and data helps us make better and more accurate decisions. It also helps us adapt to changes, and also allow us to predict the future,” said Chau.

Chau cites the Boston Bombing case as an example where the suspects were found in part thanks to the IoT and the data that these devices were able to hold and store.

Beyond that, data can provide an understanding of how a business functions. Internal data that might seem irrelevant in the present may prove invaluable in the future when it comes to learning from past actions. Equally, customer data can be used to tailor products and services or to improve communication.

HSGT’s survey found that 48 percent of businesses are not storing all available of data. 78 percent of respondents said that if they had improved analytic tools and storage solutions then they’d be able to improve their efficiency. 25 percent confessed that they don’t have the right structure to even analyse what data they do keep.

“Organisations want tools and applications to help them accomplish that in the world of exponential growth. The infrastructure provided needs to make the quantum leap in three aspects of efficiency, accessibility, as well as longevity,” said Chau. “But the way we store it and transform is also changing. Three underlying themes are driving that: Performance demanded by applications, massive growth in data, and phenomenon in the cloud.”

But as data becomes more relevant, the amount of it being produced grows too. As such, the way that companies store their data is changing too. Only 7 percent of respondents kept over half of their data in the cloud, but 30 percent of respondents said that they’d do it in a year.

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