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To Recover Or Not To Recover? That Is The Question

data loss

A data loss has occurred – now what?  Determining if there is a need to recover the lost data can be difficult.  There are several things you must take into consideration when deciding if data recovery is really required.

The quest for the vanishing data

Everyone knows the importance of a good backup system, so your first step should be to determine if the data is actually backed up. Many times lost data is stored on a backup tape, hard drive, on the network or other various locations throughout an organization.

Unfortunately, locating and restoring the lost information can be time consuming and deplete resources.  If a backup is located, it’s important to check that the most recent copy of the data is available.  Many times backups occur on a set schedule and if modifications to the data were saved after the backup occurred the newer information will not be accessible.


Another important option to consider is if the data can or should be re-created.  Two items to take into account when considering this option include the type and the amount of data lost:

What was lost?

Different data may have different perceived values. Recovering a customer database is (probably) more important than recovering a file containing possible names for a pet goldfish.

Is the missing data a high-volume transaction database such as banking records?  It would be nearly impossible to recreate the thousands of transactions that were taking place in real time.

Other types of data that may not be possible to re-create include digital photos.  Understanding the type of data that was lost is imperative to determining what your next steps should be.

How much was lost?

Understanding how much data was lost can help you understand how much time and resources will be required to re-create the data. The more data lost, the more time and resources required to re-create it – if re-creation is possible at all.

Businesses don’t get a pass

An additional point to consider is that with the current strict regulatory and legal requirements, many companies will need access to their lost data in order to swiftly comply with these requests.

Not being able to provide the data upon request could translate into hefty fines. Therefore, companies that lose their data have to bear in mind this extra consideration when deciding whether recovering their data is necessary or not.

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