Understanding Data Loss - What You Can Do About It

Thursday, December 31, 2009 by The Data Experts

Computer users and many experts often consider lost data permanently destroyed, with no hope of recovery. And because much of the information about data loss is complex, inconsistent or inaccurate, it's not surprising that data loss and data recovery are some of the most confusing and misunderstood concepts.

At Ontrack, we take the mystery and much of the expense associated with lost data out of the equation. Our data recovery engineers have studied data loss and have been performing successful recoveries for 20 years.

Their findings indicate that in most cases, data is recoverable no matter what the circumstance. So, never assume your valuable data can't be recovered. Always check with a qualified data recovery expert before determining what to do when you have lost data.

Causes of Data Loss
The chart below clearly represents the complexities and differing perceptions of losing data between what customers believe caused their loss and the impact of the loss versus what our engineers actually discover once they evaluate each situation. These findings reinforce the complexities of lost data.
Causes of Data Loss:
Customer Perception
 Ontrack Recovery Findings
Human Error
Computer Viruses
Natural Disasters
Hardware or System Problem
Software Corruption or Program Problem

Why does data loss happen?

Losing data happens for a number of reasons, and at virtually anytime and anywhere. No one factor can ever truly be overcome, which makes losing data a reality. It is not a matter of if, but rather a matter of when you will lose data. As a result, businesses and home users alike cannot rely on hope as their strategy. Data may be recoverable with Remote Data Recovery™ service (recovery through modem or Internet connection) or even with data recovery software.


Costs of Data Loss
With no data and no access to your system, lost data is a financial disaster. Our data recovery specialists determine the best data recovery solution to get you back up and running as quickly as possible. The chart below outlines the costs associated with computer downtime and lost data for businesses.
Industry Sector Revenue Per HourLost Revenue Per Hour
Energy$2.8 million
Telecommunications$2.0 million
Manufacturing$1.6 million
Financial Institutions$1.4 million
Information Technology$1.3 million
Insurance$1.2 million
Retail$1.1 million
Pharmaceuticals$1.0 million
Source: IT Performance Engineering & Measurement Strategies: Quantifying Performance Loss, Meta Group, October 2000.