An organization’s data map is the equivalent of the card catalog in a library. It is where you can find all of your user content based on specific criteria including who owns which items, when were they last modified or accessed, where it is located and much more.
An organization’s data map provides a view of user desktops, servers, e-mail and even legacy backup tapes. This information gives you the ability to make proactive decisions about what is sensitive and needs to be placed on legal hold, and what can be purged since it no longer provides value to your business.
When you have a thorough data map, legal and IT can collaborate to determine policy for defensible deletion of some content, archiving of intellectual property and compliance regulations that govern the process.
A data map can list the location of custodian mailboxes and sensitive documents, and even uncover unknown data you didn’t know you had, in support of early case assessments. Some of the other things that can be learned from creating an efficient data mapping program are:
A records management system will show who created and made changes to all of the documents in an organization’s file system, along with which documents should be kept and others that can be purged.
Sharepoint is a product from Microsoft that is designed to enable collaboration, file sharing and Web publishing. However, when the project is over and there is no longer a need for the files that were shared, they can become forgotten and lost. A data map can record all of those unused files for eDiscovery.
A database is effective for maintaining large amounts of data that is shared and accessible among several people in an organization. However, with the enormous amounts of information in a database it becomes difficult to keep track of all that data and even more difficult to share or even submit in a litigation. A data map can organize all of the data in a database so that it is easier to access what is actually needed during an ediscovery.
Social Media Files
Social media is increasingly being used for business as well as social purposes. A data map can organize files that have been shared by users, which may pertain to a litigation. Some of these files may be relevant to a case.
More and more organizations are using cloud computing rather than increasing their own in-house data storage capabilities. The cloud, however, can create compliance and eDiscovery issues because although the data is created and owned by the company, a third party is contractually responsible for operating the infrastructure and may have actual control over the data. In any case, data mapping can organize and record what data is available, where it is located and what pertains to the case in question.